Concept of operations for European UTM systems

Towards a harmonised approach to integrating drones into very-low-level (VLL) airspace.

The Concept of Operations for European Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) Systems (CORUS) project encompasses two years of exploratory research in order to adopt a harmonised approach to integrating drones into very low level (VLL) airspace. CORUS’s task is to describe in detail how U-space should operate so as to allow the safe and socially acceptable use of drones.


CORUS’s goal is to foster the uniform implementation of UTM in Europe, making cross-border operations easier and giving businesses with an interest in the sector the opportunity to provide services. The project will also consider the diverse needs of Europe’s future U-space, balancing regional specificities while ensuring the safety of airspace users and the public.


The CORUS project needs to tackle two intrinsically linked issues:

  • drones still do not operate as reliably as manned aircraft do;
  • drones are not yet entirely accepted by society, especially when it comes to privacy concerns.

The project faces competition from similar initiatives being developed; it challenges some of our basic assumptions in this rapidly changing environment.


The project is developing an U-space Concept of Operation (ConOps), through an iterative process. The CORUS project involves considerable consultation with stakeholders.

The U-space ConOps is now available

Read the third and final version of the Concept of Operations.

Our role

EUROCONTROL is the project’s main contributor and coordinator.


ENAV, DFS (Deutsche Flugsicherung), DSNA (Direction des Services de la navigation aérienne), DLR (German Aerospace Center), HEMAV, NATS, UNIFLY and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.