With heavy government support, EHang‘s flight tour is one more step towards the full integration of passenger drones in Korea. Chinese manufacturer EHang, a leader in autonomous aerial vehicles (AAV) has announced that its two-seater passenger-grade AAV, the EHang 216, has now completed flights in three Korean locations – Seoul, Daegu, and Jeju Island. “This flight tour signifies the starting point to explore the UAM market in Korea,” says an EHang release.
EHang kicked off the flight tour in Seoul a few weeks ago. “During the flight tour, EHang brought the world’s leading UAM solution to Korea, including passenger transportation, emergency medical service and aerial sightseeing. In Soeul, EHang 216 took off from Yeouido Island in downtown to have an autonomous flight over a densely populated area. The second flight was done in Suseong District, Daegu City, to deliver a package containing a 119 fire emergency kit and AED materials. The last flight was done in Jeju Island, EHang 216 flew over the coastline to demonstrate the real use case of aerial sightseeing,” says EHang.
Flying passenger drones in Korea required heavy support from the Korean government. EHang received the first SAC (Special Certificate of Airworthiness) ever issued for a passenger-grade AAV by MOLIT, Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport. Seoul, Daegu, and Jeju Island were all selected as pilot site of the “Korean Urban Air Mobility (K-UAM) Roadmap”, a project announced by MOLIT in June 2020. The project plans to launch commercial UAM services by 2023-2025.
Located in the central urban area of Daegu city, Suseong District plans to launch more aerial routes in stages, based on the EHang 216 flight and promote the industrialization process of Urban Air Mobility (UAM). “To tackle the traffic congestion, we will try our best to develop UAM and turn it into a new engine for our economic development,” said Kim Dae-Gweon, mayor of Suseong District in Daegu city.
Won Hee-Ryong, the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province said, “To further promote UAM development, Jeju Island is considering various measures, including the set-up of special funds and policies, fostering talents and supporting relevant enterprises.”
“With the support of MOLIT and the local governments, the success of the first phase of EHang’s UAM Operation Plan for Korea set another milestone in the company’s global UAM development, and further demonstrated the safety and reliability of EHang’s AAV technology,” says an EHang press release. “The Korean flight tour lays a solid foundation for future business expansion in Korea with potential acceleration to its UAM operations. EHang will join hand with all parties to accelerate development of UAM.”
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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