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Airbus, CAAS sign MOU to work on urban air mobility

AIRBUS and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding to enable urban air mobility (UAM) in Singapore.

The memorandum was signed at the Singapore Airshow 2020 by Jean-Brice Dumont, executive vice-president of engineering at Airbus, and CAAS director-general Kevin Shum.

Under the collaboration, which aims to set up UAM services and platforms to enhance industry productivity and improve Singapore's regional connectivity, Airbus and CAAS will work together to define and develop an initial UAM service with an unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

Specifically, they will work together to create an unmanned traffic management (UTM) system and services to support the initial use case.

They will also cooperate to foster public acceptance of UAM operations, develop standards and establish the necessary safety frameworks. Finally, they will study the feasibility and requirements for further UAM services, including leading-edge cargo and passenger transportation solutions.

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Earlier in 2016, Airbus and CAAS collaborated for UAS proof-of-concept (POC) trials for an experimental project called Skyways, which aimed to develop safe unmanned air delivery systems to be used in dense urban environments. Airbus and CAAS also signed an agreement with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency to share and advance the development of operational and safety standards for UAS in urban environments.

The POC trials for Skyways were successfully completed in 2019, and the unmanned aircraft system used in the project will be used for further testing of technologies and concepts. The initial focus will be on connectivity and navigation, which are essential components for unmanned traffic management.

Mr Shum noted that urban air mobility fits into Singapore's Smart Nation vision of using technology to solve problems and address challenges, and the authority seeks to collaborate with businesses like Airbus to push the boundaries of these technology applications.

"Such collaborations, including our long-standing CAAS-Airbus partnership, build Singapore's capabilities and expertise to enable advanced UA (unmanned aircraft) applications, particularly in our urban environment," said Mr Shum.

Said Mr Dumont: Airbus is constantly seeking ways to drive new frontiers in air mobility. We are excited to take the next step with our long-standing partner CAAS, with a shared vision of developing urban air mobility and the supporting UTM systems and services to bring a safe and reliable transportation solution to people."

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