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What is UAM

URBAN AIR MOBILITY

What? UAM is a new safe, secure and more sustainable air transportation system for passengers and cargo in urban environments, enabled by new technologies and integrated into multimodal transportation systems. The transportation is performed by electric aircraft taking off and landing vertically, remotely piloted or with a pilot on board

When? Commercial operations in EU cities are expected to start around 2025 with delivery of goods by drones or transport of passengers by piloted aircraft

 

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR THE EU?

By 2030, 340 million people will live in EU cities and experience UAM

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  • Positive economic impact with creation of 90,000 jobs by 2030

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  • EU as a market leader with 31% of the global market (€ 4.2 bn total market size

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  • Safer mobility: lower risk to be involved in a fatal accident in an air taxi vs. road transport

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  • Faster mobility: 15 to 40 minutes saved on average on a standard city travel time and more than 70% time savings for emergency / medical delivery

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  • Cleaner mobility: no local CO2 emissions for electric propulsion

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CONDITIONS FOR UAM OPERATIONS

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    Safety and security

    Safety and security of UAM vehicles are among the top three concerns of citizens.

    Safety

    • Concerns on drones mentioned by 44%, on air taxis by 37%
    • High safety level can increase public acceptance by 23%
    • High safety level can increase public acceptance by 23%

    Security

    • Concerns on drones mentioned by 39%, on air taxis by 29%
    • Level of trust on security and cybersecurity of UAM technology just slightly above 50%
    • Half of the respondents would better trust UAM if security and cybersecurity regulations were adopted, preferably by all levels of European authorities working together
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    Noise and environmental impact

    Noise
    • Noise pollution is a concern for drones (52%) and air taxis (53%)
    • Level of annoyance varies with lack of familiarity with the sound; familiar city sounds at same decibel levels are better accepted
    • Distance, duration and repetition of the sound impact acceptance

    Environment

    • Negative impact on animals is the biggest environmental concern (for drones 62%, for air taxis 56%)
    • Environmental and climate impact from production, incl. battery production (43%, 42%)
    • UAM is expected to help decrease air pollution and congestion on the ground
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    Integration into the city and local transport network

    UAM services need to be integrated into the existing local mobility system. Visual impact of aircraft and infrastructure should be limited and preserve city landscape

    Citizens are concerned by noise (48%) and safety (41%) of vertiports

    Drone delivery preferred close to the house (garden 68%, station in neighborhood 67%)

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    Affordability

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    Involvement of local authorities

    To increase societal acceptance, authorities on all levels should work hand in hand

    Similar trust level towards local, regional, national and European authorities to address UAM

    Expectation by respondents that local actors are involved in decisions

VEHICLE TYPES, MAIN USE CASES AND INFRASTRUCTURE

  • aircraft Vectored thrust
    aircraft Lift and cruise
    aircraft Wingless
    Benefits
    • Optimised for both hover and cruise
    • Lift provided by wings for cruise for highest efficiency
    • Highest cruising speeds
    • Redundancy benefits of multicopter without collective or cyclic actuation
    • Wing configuration allows for more energy and speed in cruise
    • High redundancy and simple controls
    • Significantly quieter than helicopters
    • Lower maintenance and lightweight
    Implications
    • Greater mechanical complexity
    • Increased airframe weight
    • Suboptimal for both hover or cruise
    • Slowest cruising speed/least efficient
  • aircraft For example passenger transport
    aircraft For example emergency / medical flights
    aircraft For example goods delivery
    • Commercial transport of people (e.g. flights between city centre and airport, or within a metropolitan area, or flights for sightseeing)
    • Planned passenger numbers range from one to six
    • Most manufacturers plan to start operations with vehicles with a pilot on board
    • Both passenger transport and goods delivery aircraft can be used or modified for emergency missions
    • Passenger carrying vehicles can be used, e.g. for transport of medical emergency personnel to an accident site or transport of patients to a hospital
    • Unmanned drones can be used for emergency use cases such as evaluation of emergency areas, direct firefighting, delivery of medical and emergency supplies
    • Transport of goods for commercial or industrial application (e.g. last-mile delivery, delivery to a hub, rural delivery of supplies) excluding emergency and medical goods
    • Delivery could take place into a garden, station nearby, roof, etc.
    • Stated payload of concepts ranges from 0.7 to 200 kg
    • Some concepts will initially be remote controlled, while others are already planned to operate autonomously from the beginning
  • aircraft Vertiports for air taxis
    aircraft Delivery stations for drones

PILOT PROJECTS

Europe is already one of the world leaders in Urban Air Mobility.

Test projects are delivering goods with drones and others will see transport of passengers with air taxis, including for medical or emergency purposes

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EASA'S UAM ENABLING ACTIVITIES

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  • Aircraft airworthiness

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  • Airspace integration

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  • Operations and pilot licensing

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  • Study on societal acceptance of urban air mobility

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    EASA has prepared a number of regulatory documents for UAM, including the first worldwide regulation on U-Space recently adopted by the European Commission. The full overview of these documents can be found in the Appendix of the study report.