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Air operations, Industry trends

How Cirium’s latest drone technology projects are backed by sustainability goals

December 6, 2021

With a consortium of industry leaders in the UTM arena, Cirium will research and test autonomous drone technology within UK airspace.

At Cirium, we want to continue to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable yet advanced future. As a result, we have partnered with a variety of major research projects to support new ground-breaking data research and focus on developing technological solutions for the improvement and optimization of drone usage.

Together with a consortium of industry leaders in the Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) arena, Cirium will research and test autonomous drone technology within UK airspace, helping to effectively transport cargo and reduce emissions while driving economic growth.

Check out the latest progress we have made in driving this technological change. Below you can discover links to a range of projects that Cirium is participating in, in addition to key information on how we are supporting increased drone usage.


This ambitious research and development project, backed by Cirium, is aimed at enabling the use of commercial drones at airports alongside traditional passenger aircraft. ATOMICUS stands for Advanced Traffic Organization and Management of Intelligent Cargo Unmanned Systems and, after receiving a share of a £30 million grant awarded by the UK government, the hope is that autonomous drone technology will be able to be expanded into UK airspace, supporting the transportation of items such as medical supplies or aircraft spare parts.

Upon completion of the project’s research phase, the first prototypes will soon be simulated (flying) around Cardiff and St Athan airports.

By using drones to ensure time-sensitive, high-value goods can be transported across the UK faster than ever before and with a lower carbon footprint, Cirium are once again at the forefront of sustainable development in aviation.

As part of the ATOMICUS project, Cirium plans to utilize the UK’s network of 150 under-utilized airfields to generate economic growth while simultaneously reducing the number of vehicles on our roads.


Cirium has also joined a Heathrow-led and government backed project aimed at optimizing drone usage at airports. The project, named Fly2Plan, will help a consortium of key aviation experts gain insights into how new technologies such as cloud infrastructure and blockchain can use Heathrow’s data more efficiently to unlock opportunities for the use of autonomous drones within UK airspace.

This is a great opportunity for Cirium’s vast, in-depth flight data to support new ground-breaking research concepts that have the potential to help reduce carbon emissions, cut operational costs, and improve airport efficiency.

Cirium will provide access to flight data to help understand and realign new ways of data exchange to support UTM. Down the line, the aim is to be working on live demonstrations of the concepts, with the long-term goal of wider adoption across the aviation industry.


From, ‘What are NOTAMs and who uses them?’ to accurate real-time data for navigation, Cirium provides a wide array of information, enabling drones to fly safely in low-altitude airspace.

The experts at Cirium can provide a full set of enhanced global NOTAMs, with full lifecycle support and geometry, ensuring the NOTAMs you receive are enriched with high-quality aeronautical data-sets. This offers unmanned aircraft systems developers a complete and up-to-date global picture of the airspace, its restrictions, and any relevant events.

UTM-ready data

Here at Cirium, we hold a vast array of data for all your UTM needs. To enable digital transformation and the integration of drones into global airspace, we can provide machine-readable, spatially enriched and easily accessible NOTAM, TFR and Airspace data.

Our trusted and reliable data will enable a more informed, safe and accurate unmanned flight planning experience. To view our range of UTM services, click the link.

Route viability for electric aircraft

Cirium’s tools such as SRS Analyser are being used by manufacturers to model economically viable routes, and conduct early network planning – hunting down the first city pairs to launch Air Mobility initiatives and trial services. The replacement of existing tortuous road and short haul flights with small efficient electric aircraft may be an affordable and sustainable way to unlock travel between new regions.

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