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12 dec, 2023

EASA unveils groundbreaking digital platform for drones and air taxis information

EASA has introduced a digital platform for drones and air taxis to enhance transparency and address safety and sustainability concerns. The Innovative Air Mobility (IAM) Hub facilitates collaboration among stakeholders in the European Commission's Drone Strategy 2.0. This initiative aims to reassure the public about the integration of these services in Europe.

Enhancing stakeholder relations and public reassurance

In a significant development for the aviation sector, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has introduced a pioneering digital platform dedicated to disseminating information about drones and air taxis. The first version of the Innovative Air Mobility (IAM) Hub enables cities, regions, national authorities, operators and manufacturers who have a role in the introduction of these air taxi and drone services to connect. They can then share and obtain reliable information and data. This initiative aims to foster transparency and address public concerns regarding the integration of these innovative services in European urban landscapes.

Luc Tytgat, EASA Acting Executive Director, highlighted the platform’s role in bolstering the relationship between new aviation entities and the public. “With this launch, we’re bridging the gap between various stakeholders in Innovative Air Mobility,” Tytgat stated. “Our goal is to reassure European citizens about the safety and sustainability of these new forms of aircraft, providing clear information on their operation, noise levels, and safety protocols.”

Collaborative space for information exchange

The Innovative Air Mobility (IAM) Hub serves as a collaborative space where cities, regional authorities, national bodies, operators, and manufacturers can exchange and access dependable information and data related to air taxi and drone services. This resource will be available on a dedicated section of the EASA website titled “Drones and Air Mobility,” offering extensive insights into the operation of these services. The initiative, part of the European Commission’s Drone Strategy 2.0 and funded by the European Commission and Parliament, is a key step towards fostering a smart and sustainable drone market in the EU.

Support from diverse stakeholders

Stakeholders from various sectors have expressed their support for the IAM Hub. Ville Lehmuskoski of the City of Helsinki sees immense potential in drones and air mobility for urban development. Alessio Quaranta, Director General of ENAC – Italian CAA, emphasizes the importance of EU-wide coordination and interoperability in this emerging sector. Oliver Reinhardt from Volocopter underlines the necessity of public acceptance and open dialogue for the successful integration of electric air taxis. Bobby Healy, CEO of Manna, also stresses the importance of transparency and education, viewing the IAM Hub as pivotal in these efforts.

Defining innovative air mobility

The concept of “innovative air mobility” encapsulates operations involving not only drones but also new types of passenger aircraft, distinct from traditional airplanes and helicopters, often referred to as air taxis. These technologies promise to deliver a variety of services, including those serving public interests like medical deliveries and urgent patient transfers.

Public perception and regulatory needs

An EASA survey in November 2020 revealed that 83% of European citizens view Innovative Air Mobility positively. Nonetheless, concerns about safety, privacy, noise, and sustainability were also noted, underscoring the necessity for comprehensive regulatory and informational measures in this evolving domain.

DronePort’s vision in Urban Air Mobility

As a hub for innovation and development in this industry, DronePort sees this initiative as yet another step forward in realizing the potential of drones and air taxis in urban environments. It paves the way for more integrated, efficient and innovative mobility solutions, and aligning perfectly with our goal of facilitating urban air mobility applications in the near future. The IAM Hub, by providing a centralized, authoritative source of information and collaboration, not only complements our efforts but also enhances our capability to support the field of urban air mobility.

More information (EASA):

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Pioneering the future of aviation: DronePort and the ‘Indiana – Flanders’ MoU

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