Drones fly in the very low-level airspace. To operate safely and predictably, the drone operator needs to comply with the local rules and regulations, as well as constantly changing circumstances such as the weather. The drone operator uses the flight planning tool to file his flight plan with the authorities. The PODIUM webtool helps him by prompting him to enter all relevant details and parameters.
Before take-off, the drone pilot takes a final look at the approved flight to ensure everything is in order. The pilot presses "take off" and begins his drone flight. Meanwhile, the authority is able to follow in real-time what is going on in his local airspace.
He sees the drone flight within the requested perimeter and is able to connect with the pilot if necessary. Having concluded his flight, the drone pilot lands his drone and uses the app to "land", indicating the flight is over. In the office, the administrative flow of the flight has been automatically completed for him.
During the PODIUM demonstrations, drone operators performed their flights using the Unifly UTM system for the registration, flight planning and authorization flows. This meant the drone operators could easily manage their operations, enabling them to focus on flying their drones without worry.
PODIUM is a SESAR Horizon 2020 project supporting U-space, the European vision for the safe, secure and efficient handling of drone traffic and a key enabler for the growing drone market to generate economic and societal benefits.
PODIUM stands for Proving Operations of Drones with Initial UTM. PODIUM has performed U-space demonstrations for BVLOS and VLOS flights at five operational sites in Europe.
These sites were Hans Christian Andersen Airport in Odense, Denmark; the Netherlands RPAS Test Centre in Marknesse and Groningen Airport Eelde, the Drones Paris Région cluster in Brétigny-sur-Orge and Rodez-Aveyron Airport in Rodez, France.