Urban Air Mobility Integration In The UK

eVTOL Aircraft In London

Eve Air Mobility a subsidiary company of Embraer has created Consortium selected by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The company is currently working on the manufacturing of Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The UK Air Mobility Consortium was made up of globally known companies such as Vertical Aerospace, London City Airport, Atech, London Heathrow Airport and Volocopter.

The companies had completed the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) study to be submitted to the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The 84-page CONOPS document was developed in partnership with the CAA in order to reshape regulations in the future to support innovation, technology and integrate Urban Air Mobility.

Back in January 2021, the CAA’s selected Consortium joined the Future Air Mobility Regulatory Sandbox Project. The project was used to develop a framework, defining procedures and infrastructure required for safe integration of the UAM operations in the United Kingdom. In October 2021, the UK CAA Innovation Hub has published the results from Phase 1 of Future Air Mobility Regulatory sandbox project. The project addressed safety, efficiency and scalability of zero-emission UAM operations in the UK.

eVTOL aircraft integration of infrastructure in London, United Kingdrom
Source: Eve Air Mobility

The development of CONOPS case study focused on the transportation between London City Airport (LCY) and Heathrow Airport (LHR). The computer simulation flights conveyed the transportation of the passengers between the vertiports from London City Airport and Heathrow Airport. The itinerary was used to allow Urban Air Mobility operations to be performed by the eVTOL aircraft.

“The infrastructure required to support the future implementation of urban air mobility will be significant and a key element for the success of this new sector. The significant detail in this report and its real-world scenario means it paves the way to make UAM a reality” – UK Civil Aviation Authority Innovation Services Lead Frederic Laugere

Future of the Urban Air Mobility

The concepts in the CONOPS have been developed by the Consortium while incorporating the feedback of the CAA Innovation Hub. The data derived from the computer simulations was used to propose concepts to the stakeholders allowing them to understand the UAM operations better.

Volocopter has commented on LinkedIn in regards to their involvement in the UK Consortium:

“Volocopter partnered with the UK’s CAA in 2019 and has been involved in developing the UAM ecosystem in the London area ever since. Our understanding and expertise on matters related to air operations, aircraft performance, airspace integration, and vertiport planning have been essential in moving the project forward. London is an exciting but complex destination with a myriad of public transportation options, both under- and overground. We are looking forward to taking further steps toward UAM integration with the UK’s CAA and NATS, who have shown real interest in the project.”

The infrastructure required to support the UAM operations in the UK is a key element in this innovative sector. The co-CEO of Eve Andre Stein has highlighted:

“This CONOPS focuses primarily on the solutions necessary for near-term challenges that could impact initial commercial operations. The London use case and CONOPS provide a tangible example for the CAA to better understand the aims of UAM and support the development of future regulations accordingly. Our work also indicates how thriving the market for eVTOL flights in the UK will be in the future.”

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