Drones Beyond. 2022

Urban Air Mobility – Evolutions and perspectives

17th-18th November 2022 – Bari, Fiera del Levante

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) pushes cities and territories to prepare for the change driven by new forms of transportation of goods and people. In this context, citizens, institutions, and industries are the main players in a sector that provides a strong impetus for research and technology development. At the same time, the AAM sector is becoming an important and attractive business terrain as the related markets are growing. For the aerospace world, specifically, and for the citizens in general, new, and interesting development prospects are opening up in the use of unmanned on-board systems (today “drones,” in the near future autonomous aerial systems) that will affect many areas of human activity (transportation, observation of territories and related phenomena, health, agriculture, aerial work, etc.).

“Drones Beyond. 2022”aims to be a moment to present challenges, products, and solutions of UAM (Urban Air Mobility), to provide: an indication of the state of development of technologies and applications; a contribution to the action of learning about the capabilities and benefits that these technologies can generate, encouraging their acceptance and sharing; an acceleration of real-world experimentation necessary to break down the remaining barriers to their full use. UAM thus is not only an element of the advancement of aviation and mobility technologies, but primarily a process to support mobility planning and urban development. If UAM can play a leading role in shaping urban innovations and sustainable transition strategies, it is necessary to understand how it should be integrated into urban mobility planning, or, in more practical terms, what role it could play in existing or planned urban transportation systems.

The idea behind “Drones Beyond” is to support and accompany the industrial, scientific, economic, and financial efforts of the aviation community by relating them to the need for creating solutions that can be integrated into the future of cities and communities. The initiatives so far conducted by DTA unfold on both the suburban (Grottaglie airport) and urban (city of Bari) dimensions with the aim of presenting the two areas as an integrated range for the experimentation of new Advanced Air Mobility solutions. The initiative is therefore included in the long term development framework of an integrated infrastructure between Grottaglie and Bari, that could generate over time a connection between the two nodes through a future “experimental drone highway.”


The first edition of DTA’s “Drones Beyond” project took place in September 2021 at the Grottaglie Airport, as part of the MAM 2021 international event. “Drones Beyond. 2021 Operations” presented concrete examples of currently feasible solutions in a real operational environment, namely the Grottaglie airport and surrounding grounds. The demonstrations covered various fields, from the presentation of new technologies to the exhibition of solutions that integrate their capabilities in different application areas (manned and unmanned aircraft, satellite and ground observation and data acquisition systems, sensor systems, etc.).

The 2022 edition of Drones Beyond, organized by DTA, the Municipality of Bari and the Apulia Region, sees the collaboration of national and international companies. The initiative, therefore, has as its main objectives

the presentation of technological solutions and architectures (sandbox, vertiports/vertipad), concept of operation (CONOPS) and concept of use (CONUSE) in the metropolitan city of Bari, and the presentation of missions and services capable of inspiring future experimentation with new technologies and operational protocols. The main related topics will be autonomous and semi-autonomous driving, use of next-generation communication/navigation technologies (5G, multilateration, satellites), use of Data Science techniques for data acquisition/manipulation (IoT, Cloud, AI, Deep Learning) and development of the concept of situation awareness, all of these in a perspective that sees Bari as a living lab at urban/metropolitan scale.


The event includes the involvement of various operators, who will carry out demonstrations of UAM technologies and services in different operational scenarios, as well as other national and international players as a presence at the conference and static exhibition, in order to engage and inspire new generations and businesses.

Since 2018, the Aerospace Technology District has coordinated and participated in several research and innovation projects acquiring expertise and experience in the field of UAS and Advanced Air Mobility. The SAPERE and Bari Open Innovation Hub projects pay particular attention to UAM applications and services for smart cities. The RPASinAir project focuses on the integration of UAS in ATM; ECARO, U-space2 and AURORA deal with the design, certification and performance analysis of PNT devices in autonomous flight conditions, and their application in UAM services. In ASSURED and 4S USER STUDY projects, DTA developed a technological, operational, regulatory and policy UAM framework, as well as the main cybersecurity aspects of UAS in CRUISE project. In addition, the DTA expressed interest in fields of UAS deployment in extra-urban contexts, such as precision agriculture in the TEBAKA and Redox projects.

BARI OPEN INNOVATION HUB is a project led by the Municipality of Bari presented in response to the notice of the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) – based on resources from the Development and Cohesion Fund – for the realization of “Houses of Emerging Technologies”. These places are the core of technological transfer, aimed at supporting research, experimentation projects, the creation of start-ups, and the technology transfer to SMEs on issues relating to the use of the Blockchain, IoT and Artificial Intelligence. The objective of the ‘Bari Open Innovation Hub’ project is to create an innovation hub in the metropolitan city of Bari to test new technologies and operational protocols.


Through the use of 5G, as an enabling technology, AI, next-generation IoT and drones, the topic of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving has gained particular relevance.


The project proposal is characterized by the presence of an extremely qualified public-private partnership able to ensure the necessary skills to carry out research activities (University of Bari, Free Mediterranean University, National Research Council) and technology transfer to companies (District Aerospace Technology and MEDITECH). Furthermore, the project aims the creation of experiments and prototypes (TIM, Exprivia, AMT Services), the definition of operational protocols and national and international standards (ENAC) and the maximum dissemination and replicability of results (ANCI, ARTI). Drones Beyond 2022 is a technology transfer, communication and territorial animation initiative proposed by the DTA, to demonstrate the potential and benefits for the community of innovative solutions and services that will be tested in the ‘House of Emerging Technologies’ thanks to the Bari Open Innovation Hub project.


To Find out more, click here.


Download the event programme, click here.


The mobility of goods and people is essential to urban development, shaping the urban space and its functions. In the last 50 years, private vehicles have dominated urban transport, leading to congestion, negative environmental impacts, human health and safety, and reduced quality of life and social inclusion. As the world’s population concentrates in cities, the negative consequences associated with moving people and goods will increase. Advance Air Mobility could help to mitigate this. 
The concept of Advance Air Mobility encompasses many possibilities beyond the mere delivery of goods, such as the support of emergency services, the transport of blood and organs, traffic or infrastructure monitoring, public safety and, finally, the most challenging application of the future – the transportation of people. Cities will, therefore, soon be faced with the challenge of integrating the emerging concept of “air mobility” into specific market and transport segment niches. 
Therefore, there is a need to promote the implementation and acceptance of urban air mobility and its integration into the ground mobility network. It is necessary to consider the existing infrastructure, the land use compatibility of urban areas, and, no less importantly, to promote acceptance by citizens and identify the financing strategies that will help cities make the necessary investments.
Date: 17 Nov 22 Time: 11:50-12:50
Where: Fiera del Levante, Bari


Key messages


  • The ASSURED-UAM case will be presented together with the main national and European projects related to the implementation of UAM in cities.
  • In implementing urban air mobility, GZM focuses on educating city authorities to raise awareness of their responsibility for UAM challenges, including the impact on airspace management and the need to adapt infrastructure. Indeed, knowledgeable cities are excellent scenario carriers for developing UAM services and important ambassadors for these solutions.
  • To demonstrate the potential of UAM for cities, we rely on the collaboration of an ecosystem: cities – R&D – industry.


  • The ASSURED-UAM case will be presented together with the main national and European projects related to the implementation of UAM in cities.
  • Focus on bottlenecks in logistic areas.
  • Focus on demo flights with the hospital, survey and modelling of the competitiveness of transport modes.
  • Willingness to monitor activities (traffic, building maintenance), conditioned access zones and vigilance.

Key questions

Public acceptance: how can it be actively promoted?
  • Being a first mover: perceived benefits and needs, building infrastructure and conditions to use. 
  • Consequence analysis to understand the environmental benefits.
  • Benefits for cities and citizens: recognising the common goals of sustainability that bind different stakeholders to work together.

Joint action to make UAM a reality: how can all relevant stakeholders work together to facilitate this process?
  • Recognise the importance of bringing together different actors – public authorities, start-ups, universities or industry.
  • Work with national authorities and companies to overcome problems.

Critical milestones & challenges on the way to deployment: how to overcome challenges?

  • Protecting people’s privacy, controlling noise and visual pollution, managing the safety of eVTOLs flying in urban environments, etc.
  • Political, regulatory, systems and technical challenges
  • Definition of air corridors and location of vertiports for implementing a U-Space system that will allow drones to transport goods in a safe and controlled environment.
  • Test infrastructure as the key to certification and safe autonomous flight.
  • Urban logistics versus passenger transport.

Drones Beyond.2022 program for schools and young people


For middle schools:


Guided tours of the “Technology and New Air Mobility” exhibition


Science disseminators and experts in the field will introduce students to the technologies and objects on display: starting with the modern concept of navigation and continuing with an explanation of the role of satellites and how navigation apps such as Google maps work, and ending with the concept of smart cities. The relationship between space technologies and unmanned vehicles (drones) in the service of sustainable development for the planet (climate change monitoring, earth observations, etc) will be explained. The characteristics of the drones on display will be illustrated and the missions they can perform will be described, showing recordings and demonstrations that will take place during Drones Beyond 2022.

The guided tour, lasting an average of 2 hours, can be organized for a limited number of schools and classes and, in particular, only for those that have submitted an application between October 10th and 14th, 2022.

For high schools:


Participation in “DB racing”

DTA offers to high schools the opportunity to get closer to the technologies that will be presented at Drones Beyond, also throush games and sport: professional and/or amateur athletes will invite students to compete in an FPV (First Person View) drone racing competition. Within a circuit of obstacles to overcome, teams of students will compete driving mini drones. The team that completes the circuit in the shortest time will win.

In addition to participating with their own team in the DB racing competition, schools will be able to visit the wchibition on “technologies and new aerial mobility” while at the event. If they are interested, they will be able to attend “live” (or recorded, in the case of adverse weather conditions) demonstrations of drones carrying out missions of various kinds, such as environmental monitoring, parcel delivery or aerial work.

Participation in the competition is restricted to a limited number of teams and in particular only to those that have submitted their application between October 10th and 14th, 2022.

For young people aged 18 and above


Seminars dedicated to them will be held, during which the

Professions related to urban air mobility will be presented; a focus will be proposed on the skills, both technical and transversal, that are required today to be successful professional and/or entrepreneurs; the importance and value of technological innovation will be discussed; ad it will be possible to meet players of AAM sector.

On October 11th, in Lecce, and on October 24th, in Bari, in collaboration with the University of Salento, the Polytechnic University of Bari, and the University of Bari, will be held the seminar entitled:

The cities of tomorrow and the new mobility:  opportunities and prospect for young people


It will be an opportunity to learn about the projects and initiatives of DTA and Apulian universities on advanced air mobility and to express curiosity and interest in enabling technologies and application solutions in the sector.

The topics arising during the Q&A session at the seminar will be explored in depth during the two days of Drones Beyond 2022 and in meeting with industry professionals who will be present at the event.

Initiative organized by:

Under the patronage of:

With the support of:

Participating as partners of the “Bari Open Innovation Hub” project:


TIM, Exprivia, AMT Services

Participating as partners in the Education activities:

Ufficio Scolastico Regionale per la Puglia;

Participating as service providers and UAS operators:

ENAV, D-flight e

DroneBase, Nimbus, TopView

Drones Beyond 2022 is an initiative implemented as part of the “Bari Open Innovation Hub” project, funded by the Ministry of Economic Development and the Development and Cohesion Fund with the “House of Emerging Technologies” call.

See the two days of Drones Beyond, click here.

See the gallery of Drones Beyond, click here.