AIRlabs Austria - Aeronautical Innovation & Research Laboratories Austria

The BMK innovation lab AIRlabs Austria plans to establish and operate a multisite test infrastructure to support research, development, validation and integration UAS. With a total of 25 consortium partners from the fields of users, industrial companies and research institutions, the necessary test enablers for UAS will be provided along all TRLs and along the innovation path. Even though the focus of the innovation lab is on airspaces, ground-based infrastructures are also part of AIRlabs Austria's offering. The advantages of Austria's location (e.g. (high) alpine areas) as well as the interests of domestic industry and scientific partners are taken into account.

Short Description


The economic and scientific interest in UAS is increasing due to their many new applications. Some examples are inspection of critical infrastructure, search & rescue, photogrammetry, surveying, logistics or security applications. Autonomous flying air cabs are also among them. Despite an already strong UAS industry in Austria, there are hardly any domestic test areas and only the possibility to perform many UAS tests with special permits from the authorities. Potential Austrian UAS test sites, which on the one hand guarantee more efficient development processes due to geographical proximity to the manufacturers and on the other hand enable the development of technologies in new application areas due to the Europe-wide unique selling point of the alpine test environment, are currently not available. Based on the details of the Take Off tender 2018 and detailed by the BMK study "UAST" from 2017, the necessities of one or more dedicated, delimited airspaces for test flights in Austria are proven. Alpine environments, flying under real climatic and meterological conditions as well as over challenging terrain and urban development are explicitly required. AIRlabs Austria addresses this need and offers corresponding airspaces and test infrastructures for UAS.


  • Operational Level 1: Simulation;
  • Operational Level 2: Laboratory and indoor infrastructure;
  • Operational Level 3: Small (separated) airspace test areas;
  • Operational Level 4: Large (separated) airspace test areas;
  • Operational Level 5: UAM & airport control areas for real-world scenarios;
  • Operational Level 6: Specific operational environment and infrastructures


The 25 consortium partners of AIRlabs Austria have set themselves the goal of establishing and operating UAS test sites. The consortium is a broad mix of industry, research and users to establish and operate six operational stages in an innovation laboratory together with the national air authorities (BMK, ACG, BMLV). A multisite concept across Austria distributes the most diverse spaces as well as Urban Air Mobility test areas, special areas and the upstream simulation or indoor test. Short lead times, reasonable costs and customized solutions taking into account current and future research, development and approval factors are key objectives of AIRlabs.


AIRlabs Austria offers innovative test infrastructures and airspaces. On the one hand, based on the technological offers of the consortium partners (indoor infrastructures) as well as complementary high-tech infrastructures, which are provided in addition to the individual airspaces. AIRlabs sees itself as a one-stop-shop for solving challenging development and testing problems for UAS.

Expected Results

The benefit of the innovation lab results from local testing opportunities for Austrian UAS stakeholders. Low-threshold access creates an increase in efficiency throughout the UAS development process. The expansion of existing and the creation of new infrastructures for the needs of UAS stakeholders as well as the use of synergies and the merging of individual competencies are the top priorities of AIRlabs Austria.

Project Partners

  • AIRlabs Austria GmbH - Projektkoordinator
  • AIT, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
  • Drone Rescue Systems GmbH
  • FACC Operations GmbH
  • Frequentis AG
  • RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH
  • Schiebel Elektronische Geräte GmbH
  • twins GmbH
  • Technische Universität Graz
  • AAU, Alpen‐Adria‐Universität Klagenfurt
  • Fachhochschule Kärnten ‐ gemeinnützige Privatstiftung
  • Lakeside Labs GmbH
  • RTA, Rail Tec Arsenal Fahrzeugversuchsanlage GmbH
  • APB Corporation GmbH
  • A1 Telekom Austria AG
  • BLADESCAPE Airborne Services GmbH
  • Holding Graz‐Kommunale Dienstleistungen GmbH inkl. Flughafen Graz, Citycom
  • Kärntner Flughafen Betriebsgesellschaft mbH
  • Kärntner Betriebsansiedlungs‐ und Beteiligungsgesellschaft m.b.H. (BABEG)
  • niceshops GmbH
  • Österreichische Post AG
  • World‐Direct eBusiness solutions Gesellschaft m.b.H.

Funding Programme: TAKE OFF