The U-ELCOME project is a Digital Sky Demonstrator in the area of Urban Air Mobility. The project has been launched with funding from the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) in cooperation with the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking as one of its flagship Digital Sky Demonstrators (DSDs). It is a 3-year DSD project coordinated by the EUROCONTROL Innovation Hub and involves 51 European partners. 



Drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), have the potential to greatly support Europe's shift towards a green and digital economy, aid in post-COVID 19 recovery, and enhance the EU's economic resilience. With a range of applications, from daily commuting to global supply chain management, drones play a vital role in our social and economic life. U-space services and smart traffic management solutions will be key in enabling drone operations and reaching the necessary high level of integration with air traffic management (ATM). 

The U-ELCOME project is helping get Europe-wide U-space implementation off the ground by fostering a fully scalable market uptake of U1 and U2 U-space services through a set of tests and demonstrations in various operational environments across 15 locations in Spain, Italy, and France. 

Combining digital and physical infrastructure capabilities, U-ELCOME will set up, deploy, and demonstrate the following SESAR solutions up to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 8: 

  • U-space U1 — foundation services: these will identify drones and operators, and inform operators about known restricted areas. With the deployment of U1, more drone operations are enabled, especially in areas where the density of manned traffic is low. The U-space foundation services include e-registration, e-identification and geo-awareness. 
  • U-space U2 — initial services: the main purpose of these is to support the safe management of “beyond visual line of sight” (BVLOS) operations and a first level of interface and connection with ATM/ATC and manned aviation. With the deployment of U2, the range of operations at low levels will increase, including some operations in controlled airspace. Drone flights will no longer be considered on a case-by-case basis, and some BVLOS operations will become routine. At least the following initial U-space services will be included: tactical geo-fencing, emergency management, strategic deconfliction, weather information, tracking, flight planning management, monitoring, traffic information, drone aeronautical information management, and a procedural interface with ATC. 

The U-ELCOME demonstrations will interface the U-space set of services with existing ATM systems, and to each other. The capabilities and U1 and U2 services of the pre-operational U-space ecosystems will be demonstrated in various operational environments that represent the most typical missions for both business and civil authority use, such as medical and goods deliveries, inspection flights, aerial work in urban and sub-urban environments, in controlled and uncontrolled airspace. 

The project, working in close cooperation with EASA and other international and national authorities and organisations, will also contribute to the consolidation of standardisation and regulatory requirements of the proposed U-space services. 



SEA Milan Airports main role

Within the project's Work Package 6, "Digital Sky Demonstrator - Italian Cluster," SEA aims to develop, following the guidelines established by ENAC, the definition and planning of use cases for cargo transportation from Malpensa Cargo City to strategically identified destinations in Lombardy. The objective is to test the interoperability in airspace between unmanned aircraft (i.e., drones) and traditionally controlled aircraft.


PROJECT NAME: U-ELCOME - U-space European COMmon dEpLoyment 

NUMBER: 101079171 

FUNDING PROGRAMME: Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) 

DURATION: 36 months, 1 November 2022 - 31 October 2025 

TOTAL BUDGET: € 15.589.200 

EU CONTRIBUTION: € 6.985.843 



PARTNERS: ENAV, ENAIRE, Centro De Referencia Investigacion Desarrollo e Innovacion Atm, A.I.E., Deutsches Zentrum Fur Luft – Und Raumfahrt Ev, Telespazio Spa, D-Flight Spa, Eurousc Italia Srl, Nextant Applications & Innovative Solution Srl, Topview Srl, Techno Sky Srl Technologies For Air Traffic Management, IDS Airnav Srl, Dronus S.P.A., Nimbus Srl, SEA, Leonardo, CIRA (Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali Scpa), Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, Napredne Letalske Resitve, Honeywell International, Ingenieria y Economía del Transporte Sme Mp Sa, Globalvia Inversiones S.A.U, Fundación Instituto Tecnológico de Galicia, Fundacion Andaluza Para El Desarrollo Aeroespacial, Fundación Ssg, Aertec Solutions S.L, Universidad de Sevilla, Pildo Consulting Sl, Aeroports De Catalunya, Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya, Universitat Politécnica de Valencia, Aslogic 2011 S.L., Comunidad Foral de Navarra Gobierno de Navarra, Universidad Publica De Navarra, Fundacion I+D Automocion y Mecatronica, Fuvex Civil Sl, Servicios Aeronáuticos Control y Navegación SL, Dronica Valley S.L., Indra Sistemas S.A., Parque Tecnológico de Fuerteventura, S.A. Mp, Ehang Technologies Spain & Latam Sl, Agencia Valenciana de Seguridad y Respuesta a las Emergencias, Ayuntamiento de Benidorm, Thales Las France SAS, Thales Avs France Sas, Innov’atm, Airbus Operations Sl , Direction des Services de la Navigation Aerienne, Anra Technologies Oü, Dreams Factory Advertising & Design Company S.L, Polska Agencja Zeglugi Powietrznej, Cpr Singular Invest.