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EHang 216 obtains operational flight permit from Norway
Having received a special flight authorisation from the FAA and conducted a trial flight of EHang 216 in America, EHang now has an operational permit from Norway's CAA for long term testing.
CAA Norway head of section for unmanned aviation Bente Heggedal with EHang founder, chairman and CEO Hu Huazhi.

Autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company EHang Holdings has obtained an operational permit for its two-seater passenger-grade AAV, the EHang 216, from the Civil Aviation Authority of Norway (CAA Norway). This is the first operational permit for long term testing flight of the EHang 216 in Europe, laying a foundation for future urban air mobility (UAM) operations in other European countries.

After the assessment of test flight plans and contingency plans, CAA Norway issued an operational permit for the EHang 216 to conduct flights together with a local customer for the purpose of testing and certification. According to CAA Norway, it believes the country's geographic conditions suit the testing of unmanned aircraft well. A long strip of land with an abundance of sparsely populated areas and free airspace, the country started to build a network of small airports in the 1960s, connecting most territories throughout the country. The EHang 216 test flight should take place at Elvenes airport.

CAA Norway head of section for unmanned aviation Bente Heggedal comments: “EHang is an exciting and forward-looking project that shows the rapid development of UAM and AAV technology. The autonomous passenger aircraft of the future can contribute to more efficient transport, particularly in urban areas, and the electric models are a great contribution to the green shift. We look forward to EHang demonstrating a well-proven and secure system, so that passenger AAVs can be a safe alternative for passenger transport.”

Surrounded by sea on three sides and rich in oil and gas resources, Norway is a big exporter of O&G. According to its 2020 national budget, its oil industry contributes to 14 per cent of its GDP and one fifth of the national income. In addition, an economic survey by Statistics Norway projected the country's total oil investment to reach $18.3 billion in 2020, accounting for 19 per cent of the nation's total investment.

At present, Norwegian offshore drilling platforms are still using helicopters for various transportation tasks such as personnel, spare parts, supplies and O&G samples, which results in high fuel and labour costs.

EHang's networked and intelligent AAV could provide a safe, autonomous and eco-friendly solution. It enables simultaneous control and real-time data exchange of multiple AAV through a command-and-control platform, which not only significantly saves costs in labour, but improves the operational efficiency by providing uninterrupted services 24 hours per day.

With its key features of safety, automation, vertical take off and landing, big payload, cluster management, efficiency and low cost, EHang's AAV solution is expected to play a significant role in various tasks such as frequent and point-to-point O&G samples delivery, maintenance and inspection, wind power plant servicing and transportation of radioactive materials.

“In the new wave of the development of the oil industry in Norway, EHang expects to empower the O&G industry with AAV technologies that reduce costs and increase efficiencies, and promote the use of green energy” says EHang founder, chanrman and CEO Hu Huazhi. “In the past two years we have established strategic partnerships with valuable European partners such as Vodafone, FACC and the ProSiebenSat.1 Group. We expect to work with more strategic partners and help them with our safe, autonomous and eco-friendly air mobility solutions.”

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