The EU-Japan Region-to-Region Innovation Cooperation Program’s webinar on Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) held on 28 September from 9:00-10:30 CET aimed to introduce the respective initiatives of European regions and Japanese prefectures for the development and diffusion of electric vertical take-off and landing aircrafts (eVTOLs).
Mr. Jukka Savo, the Principal Administrator at the European Commission for Aviation Safety Drones, AI and Digitalization, offered a framing presentation of the day’s topic. The audience learned of the EU’s efforts to support the development of “AAM”, or “innovative air mobility” as it is referred to in the EU, which is the new air transport of passengers and cargos for interurban, regional and international transfer solutions using new designs such as unmanned and/or manned eVTOLs.
Two major attempts by the EU to support the new technology were introduced. The first ,“U-space”, is a set of new innovative services designed to provide safe, efficient access to airspace for unmanned aircraft beyond the line of sight. (e.g. traffic information service, flight authorization service). Explanation followed on the European Drone Strategy 2.0 which is a set of 19 actions aiming to create a large-scale unmanned aircraft market.
Mr. Romain Erny, the Head of Mobility at Choose Paris Region offered an outline of eVTOL related efforts in the Paris Region which is currently amid a large infrastructure development project that will connect the Paris suburbs by providing additional miles of metro lines and new train stations. eVTOL is hoped to compliment such efforts by making vertiports (i.e. landing and take-off sites) easy to access by connecting them to roads, rail stations, and metro stations. 30 bodies out of 150 candidates were selected to realize the Paris regions’ roadmap for eVTOLs between 2021 and 2028 with the showcasing of eVTOLs at the Paris Olympics/Paralympics in 2024 being one of the major milestones. Five vertiports and 5 routes will be in operation by 2024 with one being along the River Siene in Paris.
Ms. Kazuko Sadasue, the Associate Director, Industrial Innovation Promotion Division, Osaka Prefectural Government summarized the efforts by Osaka prefecture. Osaka takes a multifaceted approach to develop this novel industry. She discussed the Osaka Round Table, a public private council which gathers policy makers, business entities and other stakeholders to discuss appropriate regulations, business ideas and approaches to create social acceptance. Ms. Sadasue then shared with the audience the various subsidies Osaka Prefecture has prepared for vertiport construction, demo flights, research and studies etc. Creating social acceptance is important for Osaka Prefecture. She introduced plans to showcase the technology. Four aircraft operators are planned to provide four different routes at the Osaka Kansai EXPO (to be held April 13 to October 13, 2025).
Osaka prefecture’s concept movie:
After the insightful discussions by the experts, a video was shared with the audience to summarize the EU-Japan Region to Region Innovation Cooperation’s activities so far. Click the following link to see Osaka prefecture’s presentation during the webinar: Osaka Prefecture Presentation