On 21 March, AURORA project coordinator  Silvio Semanjski, shared the stage with Renske Martijnse – Hartikka (AiRMOUR) and Patrick van Egmond (LuxMobility ,AiRMOUR), James Riordan Associate Professor in Robotics and Autonomous (University of the West of Scotland, RAPID 2020), Arthur Dallau, (Flying Forward 2020), and Henk Hesselink (German Aerospace Center (DLR), LABYRINTH EU project) and had a fruitful discussion at the Amsterdam Drone Week.

Based on the knowledge and results acquired from the five EU-funded projects in various European cities, the panelists discussed the “Opportunities and Challenges of UAM in Cities” sharing lessons learned and results from their projects’ use cases.

Regarding cities role in urban airspace management & U-Space services, Silvio stated that “cities need to undertake a more active role in adapting performance-based urban airspace management, instead of technologically-imposed one” because they would be key stakeholders in imposing the business rules for AAM/UAM services, instead of technology-driven adoption of UAM as it is going now. He also added that for cities, adoption of mobility supporting aerial services should not be technology pushed, but pulled in by cities’ interests.

Moreover, he reiterated that cities need to be actively engaged in UAM rule making processes because this need stems from the fact that unmanned industry is pushing its purely technology-driven solutions for various services, while manned industry is not concerned with any aspect of UAM besides utilising airspace resource if it protrudes to their managed airspace volumes.

Notable points made during the panel discussion:

  • Cities face high expectations and are equipped with limited resources as they prepare to integrate UAM. Navigating the opportunities and challenges remains complex when the business case for cities and the public value have yet to be defined.
  • The projects are gathering valuable knowledge and results that will be shared at the end of the year, which will support cities in the integration of this new mobility mode.
  • Cities should proactively engage with key stakeholders so they can witness use cases first-hand to boost knowledge and understanding of Urban Air Mobility and its benefits to society.


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