Providing Operations of Drones with Initial UTM (PODIUM)

The SESAR Horizon 2020 PODIUM project will demonstrate unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM) services, procedures and technologies at four operational sites in Denmark, France and the Netherlands throughout 2018 and 2019. This project supports U-space, the European vision for the safe, secure and efficient handling of drone traffic - and a key enabler for a growing drone market that will generate economic and societal benefits.


Drones can have a wide variety of industrial applications, in agriculture, media, maintenance, delivery, surveillance and inspection. However, increasing and unmanaged drone traffic and their relatively small size can pose a threat to manned aviation.


The project will highlight the important role of UTM in providing mutual traffic situational awareness for the local actors involved – including air traffic management (ATM) - as a means of facilitating their day-to-day drone management.

PODIUM will help reduce the risks inherent in the operational and industrial deployment of UTM by demonstrating a comprehensive web-based UTM system, using tracking systems based on Mode-S, L-Band and GSM networks.


PODIUM is expected to be formally kicked-off in January 2018, starting with a survey of UTM users to collect their needs and priorities. PODIUM will:

  • demonstrate U-Space services;
  • deliver agreed conclusions on the maturity of U-Space services and technologies;
  • provide recommendations on future deployment as well as regulations and standards.

An advisory board with a broad range of stakeholders has been set up to guide the consortium. Preparatory work and flight trials will be carried out throughout 2018 and 2019. They will form the basis of a final report with conclusions and recommendations on deployment to be released in late 2019.

Our role

The work on the Proving Operations of Drones with Initial UTM (PODIUM) project will be done by a consortium led by EUROCONTROL. The Agency will coordinate with all partners and lead the work packages on:

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

The Agency will ensure that the work is aligned with wider air traffic management and remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) strategies. PODIUM will work closely with the EUROCONTROL-led CORUS exploratory research project, which is preparing a concept for UTM.


The PODIUM consortium is comprised of Airbus, DSNA, DELAIR, Drones Paris Region, Integra Aerial Services, Naviair, NLR, Orange and Unifly. Around 20 drone operators – including many small and medium enterprises - will participate as third parties in the consortium.

Watch this Unifly video about the PODIUM project:

Source: PODIUM: demonstrating U-space services in four European locations from Unifly.

This project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 783230.