Development of a geospatial decision-support tool for Urban Air Mobility landing and launch site location planning: Analysis, framework and technical setup

Miloš Mladenović, Leo Niemi, Atiullah Saif, Eija Honkavaara

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This report, a part of the CITYAM project funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region, focuses on the background analysis and development for a decision-support tool (DST), to be used in planning suitable locations for landing and launch site (LLS) of Urban Air Mobility technologies, namely drones with a diameter not larger than 3 metres. This and similar types of aerial vehicles are expected to appear in the mobility systems of European municipalities over the coming years, and thus require responsible deployment. The report is primarily targeted to civil servants and municipal officials, especially those in municipal and regional organisations currently responsible for land use and public deployment of drone technology.
The importance of developing a DST for LLS selection is emphasised by the constraints of urban land use, drone technology, anticipated impacts, and the current void in rules and roles for drone-related decision-making within municipalities. On the one hand, assumptions for DST development are based on elaborated drone flight dynamics in the urban environment, such as LLS access, design, and interaction with flight corridors. On the other hand, assumptions for DST development are based on the need to define the scope of the LLS planning process, assuming distributed responsibility among drone operators, the municipality and civil aviation authority.
Based on the aforementioned assumptions, a set of functional requirements for DST have been defined, including multi-criteria analysis as the suggested decision-support framework. As such, the requirements and framework are supposed to be useful in CITYAM case municipalities, while also being transferable to other contexts, with possible modifications for specific constraints. Moreover, a set of potential decision criteria for LLS location choice is identified, paving the way for a systematic and transparent approach to decision-making. The development also includes defining key planning process phases, as well as suggestions for roles and responsibilities within a LLS planning process.
The DST prototype is implemented in a geospatial environment, formulating multi-criteria analysis within the open-source Quantum Geographic Information (QGIS) System as weighted overlay analysis. In addition, the development includes formulation of back-end data management and front-end user interface.
The report concludes with suggestions for further research and development, both in the realm of decision-support tools but also in the realm of governance of Urban Air Mobility technology in general.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCITYAM Project
Number of pages90
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study


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