A consortium of urban air mobility and aviation companies is working on a concept of operations for integrating air taxis and electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (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.
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.
“The Regulatory Sandbox was established to create an environment where innovation in aviation can be explored in line with the Civil Aviation Authority’s core principles of safety, security, and consumer protection,” said David Tait, Head of Innovation at the UK Civil Aviation Authority. “This project was selected to join the Sandbox as it will help us to develop a strategic framework for harmonizing the low-level airspace, which will support the development of urban and regional air mobility operations across the UK.”
Initially working alongside local authorities, the consortium will explore how eVTOLs can transport passengers from London City Airport (LCY) to Heathrow Airport (LHR), with stops in between. Data from simulations will help policymakers develop community-friendly rules, mitigate community noise impacts, and draft airspace procedures for future flight tests.
“Today, flights between London City Airport and Heathrow Airport are limited, and the routes are designed specifically for helicopters. By collaborating with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, we aim to demonstrate to the public why regulatory support is required to build eVTOL-specific routes,” said David Rottblatt, Vice President of Business Development and leader of the Urban Air Traffic Management project for Eve.
The introduction of eVTOLs can offer greener and faster modes of transportation for passengers and cargo, improve urban and regional connectivity, create new jobs, and spur innovation.
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