Airbus and CAAS sign MoU to enable urban air mobility in Singapore
Posted: 12 February 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The collaboration aims to bring urban air mobility services and platforms to reality in Singapore’s urban environment, with the target to enhance industry productivity and improve the country’s regional connectivity.
As part of the agreement:
- Airbus and CAAS will collaborate to define and develop an initial UAM service with an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The parties will specifically work together to realise the Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system and services to support the initial use-case
- For such UAM operations, both parties will co-operate on fostering public acceptance, developing standards and establishing necessary safety frameworks
- Airbus and CAAS will study the feasibility and requirements for further UAM services that include cargo and passenger transportation solutions.
An earlier collaboration between Airbus and CAAS was first established in 2016 for UAS proof-of-concept trials (Skyways). The organisations subsequently signed an agreement with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency to share and advance the development of operational and safety standards for UAS in urban environments.
Skyways started as an experimental project aimed at developing safe unmanned air delivery systems for use in dense urban environments. The proof-of-concept trials for Skyways were completed in 2019 with the delivery of parcels in the campus of the National University of Singapore, and deliveries of 3D-printed parts and consumables to vessels anchored at Singapore’s Eastern Working Anchorage.
Going forward, the Skyways UAS will be used as a flying test lab to continue testing technologies and concepts, focusing initially on connectivity and navigation. UTM is said to be a key enabler for Airbus’ vision for urban mobility, and is paving the way for digital traffic management solutions. It will reportedly be a critical component to allow new aircraft, such as air taxis and UAS, to enter and share the skies safely.
“CAAS supports the beneficial development of UAM. It fits within our Smart Nation vision, where we aim to take full advantage of technology to solve problems, address challenges and develop Singapore into one of the most outstanding cities in the world to live in. That is why we seek to collaborate with businesses to push the boundaries of their applications. Such collaborations, including our longstanding CAAS-Airbus partnership, build Singapore’s capabilities and expertise to enable advanced UA applications, particularly in our urban environment,” said Kevin Shum, Director-General of CAAS.