European Commissioner for Transport announces SESAR U-Space Demonstration call at High-Level Drone event in Helsinki

Nov. 28, 2017

From 21-22 November, the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) had the pleasure of taking part in the European High-Level Conference on Drones organised by the Finnish Ministry of Transport in collaboration with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, opened the conference and gave an inspirational speech, which urged the European drone industry to ensure that drones and flying cars are zero emission, safe and fully integrated into the European ATM system, with a target date of 2019 for the deployment of initial U-space services.

In light of this, the Commissioner stressed the need for further R&I and announced that the SJU will be launching a call for U-Space demonstration projects to the sum of 9,5 million EUR.

Building on from the Exploratory Research call on Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (‘ER2 – RPAS Call’ with Call reference 2016‐1), this call for tenders will aim to cover a number of large-scale demonstrations to demonstrate U1 and U2 services, and support the development of requirements and standards. Subject to the signature of a Delegation Agreement between the SJU and the Commission in 2017, this call will be launched in early 2018.

This call will be an open call to complement ongoing U-space activities, speed up U-space deployment and stimulate close cooperation with EASA, standardisation bodies and industry, including newly emerging stakeholders.

Echoing the Commissioner’s thoughts, other speakers, including Patrick Ky, Executive Director of EASA, Mathew Baldwin, Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General Mobility and Transport European Commission and Pekka Henttu, Director-General of the Finnish Transport Agency and Chairman of the EASA Management Board, also stressed the need for demonstration projects in order for Europe to have the necessary knowledge to develop the correct standardisation and legislation.

Speaking at the Conference, Florian Guillermet, Executive Director of SESAR JU outlined the need for the European drone industry to act quickly and highlighted SESAR’s role in transforming R&D into a reality.

Against the backdrop of the event, the Helsinki Declaration was published ‘seizing digital technologies to deliver advanced drone operations safely and securely’, which is a rallying call for the European drone community to turn the vision for U-Space blueprint delivered by SESAR into a reality.

The SJU also took part in the exhibition at the event with a small stand and an Augmented Reality tool, demonstrating the U-Space system of the future. A 3D video outlining a scenario contained in the U-Space blueprint can be found here.


Download Florian Guillermet’s presentation

Download Commissioner Bulc speech

Read the Helsinki Declaration

Read European Commission press release