Three European associations are linking up in their collective effort to speed development of urban air mobility (UAM). By coordinating their work, the trio hopes to usher in the era of routine drone operation in human transport, delivery, and emergency services across the European Union (EU).

Creating end-to-end UAM chain across Europe

The three groups pursue UAM development from slightly different angles, but toward a goal that largely overlaps. By officializing ties between them, their hope is greater consultation and coordination will render their respective efforts more efficient in reaching the common destination of UAM as a living, working reality. They also believe that networking will create an end-to-end chain incorporating the most advanced aerial mobility (AAM) stakeholders.

One coalition partner is Forward 2020, which focuses primarily on the creation of geospatial UAM ecosystems and infrastructures. A second is AURORA (short – in a twisting way – for sAfe Urban aiR mObility for euRopeAn citizens), which concentrates on the tech and functionality of services to EU businesses and consumers. AiRMOUR is particularly concerned with the ways that drone activity can best be used by emergency response and medical services.

Of course, in advancing their work from those differing positions, all three groups operate within developing ecosystems, tech capacities, infrastructure specs, and safety requirements applicable to all UAM activity. In cooperating in a formal manner, therefore, the trio hopes to create synergies and strengths for the broader project, and greater cohesion of UAM operations across the EU’s 27 member nations.

Encouraging best UAM regulation, public enthusiasm

Another big objective of the hookup is raising awareness among European publics about the promise UAM holds. They will seek to generate enthusiasm and excitement for budding services by future users through demonstrations of the tech at work. The three partners also hope to encourage all members of the UAM sector to follow their example of enhancing development progress and performance through greater consultation and coordination. 

Other objectives, the trio says in a communiqué, include:

• Developing public and private partnerships (PPP) with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industrialists, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operators, infrastructure developers, local governments and regulators to further develop and incorporate very-low altitude UAS transport

• Consolidating current UAM activities to form a community of knowledge transfer and engagement-building practice

• Developing public and private partnerships (PPP) with Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industrialists, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operators, infrastructure developers, local governments and regulators to further develop and incorporate very-low altitude UAS transport

• Connecting urban airspace experts from different sectors of the ecosystem to facilitate crossover industry innovation and knowledge transfer

The new partners also hope that through a unified voice, they and sector stakeholders will speak louder to officials preparing UAM regulation. That, they say, should be more effective in establishing safe and environmentally friendly rules that best serve the public interest. And it would also act as a safeguard, they note, against rapid tech advances craft and infrastructure companies are already working on, rendering regulations outdated before they’re even applied.

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