The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) recently announced the first Unmanned Civil Aviation Experimental Zones (“UCAEZs”) “to solidify China’s global leadership in developing an unmanned civil aviation industry,” according to a press release by autonomous air vehicle manufacturer EHang. The list of UCAEZs covers as many as 13 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Hezhou, Hangzhou, Zigong, Anyang, Nanjing, Tianjin, Yulin, Shenyang, Dongying, Anqing and Ganzhou.
“EHang…will leverage this new policy to accelerate implementation of its Urban Air Mobility (“UAM”) Pilot City Initiative in the UCAEZs. Under the guidance of the CAAC and the UCAEZs, EHang will soon initiate regular UAM operational services. As such, EHang is to gradually expand its business model from an AAV solution provider to a UAM platform operator as planned.
In May 2020, the CAAC issued Guidance on the Construction of Unmanned Civil Aviation Experimental Zones (“the Guidance”), proposing to organize and mobilize industry forces to provide the UCAEZs with integrated “convenient channels” for airworthiness, operation, air traffic control and business licensing, said the press statement. “The Guidance also promotes active cooperation with the local governments of the UCAEZs in airspace coordination, and encourages unmanned aviation enterprises and institutions to make use of existing infrastructure to implement operating practices. With the implementation of UCAEZs in China, EHang will continue to accelerate the regular operations of its AAV technology solutions for various practical use cases including passenger transportation, aerial sightseeing, air logistics, aerial firefighting, emergency rescue, medical transportation and so on.”
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