Upscaling Lighter Than Air Technology

An IMIEU Sustainable Aviation Project

About Us

U-LTA is a platform initiated and coordinated by IMIEU with the goal of upscaling Lighter Than Air technology (LTA). The platform will mobilize financing, policy, and infrastructure. Through collaboration with academia, business developers, and policymakers the platform initiates studies that investigate the performance of LTA carriers and related infrastructure, driven by the needs of the partners.

Furthermore, the platform aims to contribute to procedures for authorization and certification of LTA carriers. By achieving these goals, the platform contributes to delivering on climate ambitions, such as those set out in the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal.

Mobilise Finance

Mobilising finance for upscaling Lighter Than Air technology.

Accessibility to Remote Places

LTA carriers require less ground infrastructure and ground space for take-off and landing, they do not require very long runways or large airspace.

Certification and Safety

Co-operating on improved procedures regarding certification, safety, and environment, attracting supply industry

Education and Training

Develop training and education for future operation and maintenance.



Besides lower CO2 emissions for taking off and staying airborne, the newest carriers are also exploring the use of fuel cells and solar energy for powering their motors and onboard operations, thereby contributing to even further decarbonization.

Lower CO2 Emissions

Ligther-Than-Air carriers need less 90% less power for take-off (Eissing, 2020) as they rely on lift-gas for staying airborne and, therefore, contribute to reaching the CO2 reduction.


LTA carriers that use helium or hydrogen as a lift gas would create much less noise than conventional aviation. A propulsion system would be required mainly for changing direction while airborne, and preventing wind gusts from blowing the carrier off course.

Easy Access

LTA carriers require less ground infrastructure and ground space for take-off and landing, they do not require very long runways or large airspace. They are thus uniquely suited to reaching remote places such as mountainous terrain, desert areas, icy regions, etc.

The U-LTA Platform

Europe has seen a resurgence in LTA technology initiatives. However, there are still significant challenges, mostly regarding financing for the upscaling of the technology, for example, the realization of demonstration projects.

Additionally, safety aspects require much attention. The goal of the U-LTA platform is to enhance publicity towards policy makers, investors, and the general public. Additionally, the goal is to facilitate financing, to stimulate technological development, improve the safety and testing of programmes, and contribute to the improvement of authorisation and certification procedures.

Functionality of U-LTA

Interactive platform which connects innovators, governmental organizations, and academic partners of Lighter-Than-Air technology.

Safety and Regulations

As LTA technology has a benign environmental footprint, it will contribute to the decarbonisation of transport, a key objective in the European New Green Deal.

Specifically regarding manned airships, the European Agency for Aviation Safety EASA is developing a new type certificate for airships (SC Gas) for which it has asked input from stakeholders earlier this year. The final document is expected to come out towards the end of this year. The link to the earlier consultation document you can find here:


Frank Neumann


Dumitru Migov

Junior Adviser

Sieuwert Kiewiet de Jonge

Junior Bussiness Developer

Hans Woldendorp

Senior Adviser

Anna Ossenkopp

Junior Adviser - Trainee

Kunal Chowdhury

Junior Adviser

Advisory Board

prof. Patrick Hendrick

Senior Adviser

prof. Rajkumar S. Pant

Senior Adviser


The U-LTA platform was initiated in 2018, facilitated by DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission. Currently over 15 organisations, including universities, expertise centres, start-ups and developers are partner of the U-LTA project and funding its programme.


If you would like to receive more information on the U-LTA platform, do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Our Address

11 Rond Point Schuman, 1040 Brussels, Belgium

Email Us

Call Us

+31 61 543 822 5

Your message has been sent. Thank you!