Germany inks deal creating four models of future UAM activity

The German government has signed accords with authorities in four localities designed to kick the nation’s urban air mobility UAM) development into higher gear. The move follows efforts across Europe, Asia, and by some US states to both enhance and coordinate emerging means of UAM at faster rates.

Development accord brings all German UAM actors together

The agreements were signed between central German government ministries and Aachen, Ingolstadt, Hamburg, and North Hesse, which will act as the nation’s UAM models. The objectives mirror those in similar projects already launched elsewhere: bringing all actors of UAM manufacturing, service, infrastructure, and use together in the hopes of creating synergies to both accelerate and improve development. At the same time, those coordinated efforts will serve as a framework within which collective best practices and regulations can be established to the benefit of all actors involved.

“Today we are starting a new innovation network for the use of drones in Germany,” said Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure Andreas Scheuer. “In the future, we will work even more closely together to bring drone innovations into practice. The know-how ‘Made in Germany’ is there. We want to use that even more. To do this, we bring everyone together: the drone community, start-ups, research, cities, and municipalities. The goal: to make Germany the lead market for drone innovations.”

Among topics that will be prioritized in the process will be four areas considered key to successful UAM development. 

The first is repurposing existing infrastructure and building new facilities for most efficient and sustainable operation in all major areas – including communications. The second is safe and effective airspace integration. Third is best practices creation, both commercial purposes – like goods deliveries and human transport – and rescue drone operations. The last will be deftly communicating and educating the public throughout the process, and clearly demonstrating to society the conveniences and advantages UAM will provide.

“Social acceptance comes first,” said Michael Westhagemann, Hamburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs. “The range of possible applications requires a high degree of flexibility in the future thinking of mobility, industry, but also the constant examination of the question of how we want to live as a society in the future and at which point drone innovations can really make sense and take effect sustainably.”

The project falls within the European Union’s “UAM – Initiative for Cities & Communities” initiative, which 43 cities across Europe have joined to enhance drone-based operations.  

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