Multi million euro UAM projects announced – let’s organise a way of harvesting the results
January 2021 is rapidly becoming the month of grand projets for European urban air mobility U-space/UTM officiandoes. First came the announcement from the consortium putting together the Paris UAM ecosystem (in time for the 2024 Olympics) that from June 2021 “parking, take-off and landing operations (will) be tested in a real aeronautical environment at Pontoise, or even operations around the vehicle, whether maintenance or electric recharging. The selected candidates join Volocopter, a manufacturer of a vertical take-off electric vehicle (eVTOL), which will be the first industrial player to test its VoloCity vehicle as of June 2021.”
Shortly after, the UK Air Mobility Consortium announced it has started work on a concept of operations for integrating air taxis and eVTOLs into the UK’s airspace. The consortium, which is led by Eve, the first company to graduate from EmbraerX, will be working with the UK Civil Aviation Authority as part of its Future Air Mobility Regulatory Sandbox. According to a consortium press release: “The project will examine how eVTOLs may operate in transporting passengers and cargo over urban and regional areas. In addition to Eve, the consortium includes international companies that span the aviation industry, including Heathrow Airport, London City Airport, NATS, Skyports, Atech, Volocopter and Vertical Aerospace.”
Then came the announcement that 17 urban air mobility companies and organisations have launched the AMU-LED project, which will be built up over two years, with the ultimate goal of showcasing one of the largest demonstration of mobility services with air vehicles in urban environments by 2022. Several venues have been chosen in three different countries: Santiago de Compostela in Spain, Cranfield in the United Kingdom, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Finally came the announcement of the UK’s Airspace of the Future (AoF) consortium programme launch. This is is made up of nine UK organisations – Altitude Angel, Thales, Cranfield University, Cranfield Airport Operations, Inmarsat, Ocado Group, Blue Bear, Satellite Applications Catapult, and Connected Places Catapult. The group will pool expertise and experience across the UK to ensure routine, operational drone services can be carried out safely.
This is not the end of big announcements – In February two more strategic international UAM collaborative programmes will be announced, focusing on ATM challenges of cross border operations.
CIVATAglobal hopes that whatever the results of these diverse programmes, the results can be gathered in one place, assimilated and used to accelerate rules-making, standards and procedures for advancing safe UAM operations everywhere in the world.
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