Despite the negative impact of the coronavirus which threaten to overcast the feasibility of the Singapore Airshow 2020, the airshow was still held and important business decisions have been undertaken. For instance, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Airbus have come to an agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday (12 Feb). The signed MOU will allow urban air mobility (UAM) in the country.
The joint memorandum seeks to realize the platforms and services of UAM into the country’s urban environment. From this, the country’s regional connectivity and industry productivity can be targeted, enhanced and improved. In the MOU, three areas are given priorities.
The first is that an initial UAM service with an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) will be defined and developed under the collaboration of CAAS and Airbus. Both parties will specifically join hands to realise the services to support the initial use-case and the Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system.
The second is, in operating UAM, both parties will work together to establish the necessary safety frameworks, promoting public acceptance and developing standards.
The third is that both CAAS and Airbus will study the requirements and feasibility for further UAM services that will incorporate passenger transportation solutions and leading-edge cargo.
Within the field of UAS, both CAAS and Airbus have always been in partnership and working together. For example, in 2016, for the UAS proof-of-concept trials (“Skyways”), the first partnership was formed to realize this. Following this, CAAS and Airbus proceeded to ink an agreement with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency with the aim to advance and share the development of safety and operational standards for the UAS in urban environments.
Skyways began as an experimental endeavour with the aim to develop safe unmanned air delivery systems for use in dense urban environments. In 2019, the proof-of-concept trials for Skyways reached successful completion whereby deliveries were conducted of consumables and 3D-printed parts to ships anchored at Singapore’s Eastern Working Anchorage as well as parcels in the campus of the National University of Singapore (NUS).
The Director-General of CAAS, Kevin Shum remarked “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”.