Bringing Urban Air Mobility to the cities of the future: EUREKA set to pave the way for vertiports

Unmanned aircraft over a city

Wednesday 14 June marked the kick-off meeting at Rome Fiumicino Airport of EUREKA, a Digital European Sky Project that aims to make Urban Air Mobility (UAM) a reality by paving the way for safe and efficient integration of vertiports – defined areas that support the landing and take-off of eVTOL aircraft – into European airspace.

Comprising a consortium of 35 members led by EUROCONTROL, EUREKA is an essential step towards delivering UAM in Europe. By safely integrating vertiport operations into existing airspace, the project will unlock the potential for safe, secure and sustainable UAM transportation systems and successfully meet tomorrow's urban transportation needs.

In detail, EUREKA aims to develop four essential SESAR solutions:

  • Arrival/departure to/from vertiports, encompassing route and trajectory planning
  • Vertiport collaborative traffic management, optimising resource utilisation and capacity allocation
  • Vertiport disruption and emergency management, ensuring preparedness for unforeseen circumstances
  • Vertiport Network Flow, Capacity & Operational Management, enabling efficient coordination and operations across the vertiport network.

The project will work in close cooperation with EASA and other international and national authorities and organisations, thereby contributing to the consolidation of standardisation and regulatory requirements related to vertiports and UAM operations.

The outcome of this FTIU initiative will be shared with the wider U-space/UAM community, paying particular attention to other ongoing UAM deployment initiatives, and to the rulemaking initiatives on the subject managed by the European Commission, ICAO, EUROCAE and EASA.

This will have particular relevance for the exploitation of EUREKA results: by developing standardisation and regulation recommendations, the projects aims to become a reference point for future UAM development, and a boost for early UAM deployment.

The project has a total investment of about €12 million, including €6.9 million from the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking, and will run until mid-2026.

The EUREKA Consortium led by EUROCONTROL comprises an ambitious roster of industry leaders in UAM: Abionica, Aeroporti di Roma, Aena, Alliance for New Mobility Europe, ANRA, BlueNest, Boeing Aerospace Spain, CRIDA, Deep Blue, D-flight, DLR, Dronea, Droniq, DSNA, ENAC, ENAIRE, ENAV, Groupe ADP, HföD, Hologarde, IFT, Indra, INECO, Leonardo, Lilium, NAIS, Pipistrel, SEA, SoulSoftware, Techno Sky, Unifly, Unisphere, UrbanV and Volocopter.

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