Proving operations of drones with initial UAS traffic management

Supporting U-space, the European vision for the safe, secure and efficient handling of drone traffic.

PODIUM (Proving Operations of Drones with Initial UTM) was a SESAR Horizon 2020 project supporting U-space, the European vision for the safe, secure, and efficient handling of drone traffic and a key enabler for the growing drone market to generate economic and societal benefits. Throughout late 2018 and 2019, PODIUM performed U-space demonstrations for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and VLOS flights at five operational sites in Europe, namely: Hans Christian Andersen airport, Odense; the Netherlands RPAS Test Centre, Marknesse; Groningen Airport Eelde; the Drones Paris Région cluster, Brétigny-sur-Orge; and Rodez-Aveyron airport.

Our contribution

EUROCONTROL successfully led the work packages on:

  • coordination and management;
  • concept and architecture;
  • demonstration assessment and recommendations.

We also ensured that the work was aligned with wider air traffic management and remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) strategies, and we collaborated closely with the EUROCONTROL-led CORUS exploratory research project, which developed a concept for U-space.


PODIUM concludes that there is a strong demand from all stakeholders for U-space solutions that ease the burden of obtaining flight authorisations, and that increase situational awareness to enable safety and efficiency benefits during flight execution. PODIUM concludes that U-space services for the pre-flight phase are practically ready for deployment, but that significant action is needed to ensure that U-space services can really take-off in the flight execution phase. PODIUM has important recommendations relating to tracking, the human machine interface for drone pilots, and the access to trustworthy data. PODIUM presented its conclusions and recommendations at a dissemination event held at EUROCONTROL HQ in October 2019.

Participants at PODIUM Dissemination Event in EUROCONTROL HQ at October 2019


The main partners were EUROCONTROL, Airbus, DSNA, DELAIR, Drones Paris Region, Integra Aerial Services, Naviair, NLR, Orange, and Unifly. Over 20 drone operators – including many small and medium enterprises – participated as third parties in the consortium.

How to read the PODIUM deliverables?

  1. You’d like a brief introduction to PODIUM and the main results? We recommend that you read the executive summary and the conclusions and recommendations in the PODIUM demonstration report (D1-2).
  2. You’d like to go into more depth about the services, sites, operational scenarios, validation approach, etc.? We recommend that you take a closer look at the whole of the PODIUM demonstration report (D1-2) and maybe the Concept & Architecture definition (D2-1)
  3. You are a real U-space and UTM fanatic, and you’re keen to go into the details of PODIUM? You are very welcome to browse all the deliverables.


Learn more about PODIUM