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January 2024 | 1st PRESS RELEASE

Europe assesses factors influencing acceptance of U-space implementation

The ImAFUSA Project - Impact and capacity Assessment Framework for U-space societal Acceptance is launched

Lisbon, Portugal 31.01.2024


Drones and Urban Air Mobility(UAM) are gaining momentum and the sector is expected to grow rapidly in the next two decades. However, a positive public perception of quiet, efficient, and safe UAV industry is key to the adoption of this novel mode of transportation. ImAFUSA, a recently launched research and innovation project, will quantify a variety of understudied factors that influence citizens’ perception of UAM in order to deliver a framework that will help Local Authorities and other U-space stakeholders and users with the delivery of a socially acceptable and beneficial UAM deployment in cities. ImaFUSA (Impact and capacity Assessment Framework for U-space societal Acceptance) is a 30 month study that has received recognition and funding from the SESAR3 Joint Undertaking and the Horizon Europe programme under the topic of HORIZON-SESAR-2022-DES-ER-01-WA1-3 - Fundamental Science and Outreach for U-space and Urban Air Mobility.

Bringing together 8 renowned project partners supported by a 4-member Advisory Board of experts, the ImAFUSA initiative will facilitate the flow and co-creation of knowledge and 10 innovative tools between higher education (HEI), innovative SMEs, Local Authorities and National Aviation Authorities.

Unlocking crucial factors

ImAFUSA is pioneering the creation of mathematical formulas and algorithms to quantify
innovative performance indicators, to unlock groundbreaking insights into three key areas
that influence societal acceptance of UAM:


  1. Environmental Impact: Tackling issues such as noise, visual pollution, and air quality head-on.

  2. Safety: Ensuring that UAM becomes a synonym for safety, instilling confidence in every citizen.

  3. Socioeconomic Impact: Making UAM accessible, affordable, and contributing tο economic development while optimising public space use and connectivity.

“We did it “wrong” with cars, we did it “wrong” with planes, let’s do it “right” with drones”

Under this motto, the project will contribute to the designation of Sustainable Urban Air Mobility Indicators (SUAMI) empowering stakeholders to make more informed, responsible, sustainable and socially accepted decisions. 

To do that, ImAFUSA will also be engaging directly with citizens through three immersive UAM experiences in Athens, Greece. Collecting valuable data on loudness, visual pollution, safety perceptions, and overall UAM acceptance, the project is on the pulse of public sentiment. The indicators developed will be further validated through a cutting-edge simulation environment, mimicking real-world U-space scenarios of varying volumes and configurations. 

The project partners are proud to be part of this ambitious human-centred project and contribute to  an era where UAM enhances sustainable mobility, elevates business performance, connects citizens, and triggers economic activity in urban and peri-urban areas.

The ImAFUSA project partners are:

The ImAFUSA project started in September 2023 and the kick-off meeting took place in October 2023. ImAFUSA's developments benefit a variety of stakeholders including Local Authorities, policy-makers, U-space service providers, ATM/UTM planners and operators, drone manufacturers, environmental agencies and citizens above all. Over the following months project news, publications and outputs will be available on the official project webpage at and distributed via the project's social media channels on LinkedIn and Twitter. For more on U-space, visit

Stay tuned as this project will establish Europe as an international leader in sustainable aviation!



The SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking is an institutionalised European private-public partnership set up to accelerate through research and innovation the delivery of the Digital European Sky. The partnership is developing cutting-edge technological solutions to manage conventional aircraft, drones, air taxis and vehicles flying at higher altitudes. The SESAR 3 JU partnership brings together the EU, Eurocontrol, and more than 50 organisations covering the entire aviation value chain, from airports, airspace users of all categories, air navigation service providers, drone operators and service providers, the manufacturing industry and scientific community. The partnership also works closely with the regulatory and standardisation bodies, notably EASA and Eurocae, as well as key stakeholders, such as professional staff organisations, the space and military communities and global partners.

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This project is co-funded by the European Union under Grant Agreement No. 101114776 and supported by the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking and its founding members.​ Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or SESAR 3 JU. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.​

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