Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is a new mode of air transport for goods and passengers in urban environment.
Demonstrations are planned during Paris Olympic games.
EASA just released a comprehensive study on the societal acceptance of UAM operations, carried out between November 2020 and April 2021.
The survey results are very homogeneous across the EU, from Budapest, Hamburg, Oresund to Barcelona, Milan and Paris.
83% of the respondents have a positive initial attitude towards UAM, with 64% ready to try out Drones and 49% ready to try out Air Taxis.
Main take-aways :
- The notion of general/public interest is a determining factor for acceptance: use cases for the benefit of the community, such as medical or emergency purposes, or connecting remote areas, are better supported;
- The main benefits expected from UAM are faster, cleaner and extended connectivity.
- Safety and local /global environment concerns come first. The study showed that citizens trust the current aviation safety levels and would be reassured if these levels were applied to UAM;
- Among the environmental concern, negative impact on animals is the greatest concern. Priority is protection of the wildlife and birds.
- The noise pollution comes third, before visual pollution.
- With respect to vertiports, noise related concerns are highest ranked.
The EASA outcomes are consistent with the international feed-back given by CAMI at EBACE CONVENTION 2020.
CAMI, “Community Air Mobility Initiative”,was formed in 2019 to stimulate dialogue between the industry and communities mostly in US. According to CAMI, the adverse impact that might raise public concern are similar to the EASA results. They all report that the social acceptance of UAM is all about the benefits of it, knowing that medical applications, emergency services come first.
According to CIVATAglobal( Civic Air Transport Association), Urban Air Mobility has the power to transform the lives of millions, but only if inclusive and accessible.
Therefore, they call for UAM plans to urgently include the needs of disabled communities, as well.
EASA stated Europe is one of the leaders with many OEMs such as Volocopter, Airbus, Lilium, Ascendance, and Pipistrel in advanced certification stages. Europe gathers significant number of pilot regions and projects, for example in Frankfurt, Paris, Cologne and Dusseldorf, Linz, Helsinki, and Ingolstadt.
German Volocopter and backers of other projects such as Aeroports de Paris are organizing themselves to demonstrate UAM Air Taxis operations during Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
EASA study of the societal acceptance of Urban Air Mobility in Europe : uam-full-report.pdf (europa.eu)