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Mobility and Transport
News article28 September 2018Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport

Commission welcomes European cities joining the Urban Air Mobility initiative

Starting in May 2018, several European cities have been joining the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Initiative that is part of the European Innovation Partnership in Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC). This Partnership, which is supported by the European Commission, brings together cities and regions, citizens, industries, SMEs, investors, researchers and other smart city actors.

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "Drones offer exciting opportunities for new services and business models, particularly in our cities. At the same time we need to ensure that drones operations taking place above our heads are safe, secure, quiet and clean. In that regard, the Urban Air mobility initiative is an important demonstration project involving several European cities to address these challenges and plan for the future. It will also contribute to the EU's U-Space, which is a flagship project of the European Union to manage air traffic at low level."

The European Commission supports the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Initiative, which is part of the European Innovation Partnership in Smart Cities and Communities, because it scales up investment in demonstrators and the future establishment of a European U-Space Demonstrator Network. In specific, the coming months will see the development of drone and U-space service solutions involving both stakeholders and public organisations to address unmet mobility user needs, for example in public, shared transport and in mobility-as-a-service. Drones and U-space services have the potential to create fast evolving investment opportunities for European companies.


The Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Initiative aims to contribute to the creation of a market for urban air mobility that brings together cities and regions with companies, allows innovative urban mobility solutions to be showcased, and supports, where possible their replication at scale. Under the umbrella of the Urban Air Mobility initiative, the setup of a number of demonstrator projects in cities across Europe will be studied and evaluated in the coming 18 months, which will bring urban mobility into the third dimension in Europe. This work is aligned with ongoing and future SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) funded studies, including demonstrations, on drone traffic management in Europe moving one step closer towards the European Commission’s U-space vision for ensuring safe and secure access to airspace for drones. With demonstrable benefits to citizens and their approval, developing a market for drones and drone services will create jobs and growth in Europe. Particularly in urban areas, civil drones could be a way to address mobility needs such as emergency needs and traffic congestion; the latter currently costs more than €100 billion a year in the EU alone.

In view of the planned opening of the EU drones services market in 2019, the “Drones Helsinki Declaration" stressed the need to work on: (1) Legal requirements for operations, airspace and U-Space services; (2) An effective standard setting process and (3) Further investment in demonstrators and the establishment of a European U-Space Demonstrator Network. The Declaration also underlined a commitment to safe, secure, green drone operations that also respect privacy. The UAM Initiative aims to contribute to all of these aspects, and particularly in developing demonstration projects in close collaboration with local and/or regional authorities.

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Publication date
28 September 2018
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport