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South Korea hosts maiden flight of autonomous EHang 216
The South Korea government announced the Korean Urban Air Mobility Roadmap in June 2020 and expects to commercialise UAM services around 2023-2025. The first flight of the EHang 216 is a key part of the process.
Son Myoung Soo, the Vice Minister for MOLIT (left), Seo Jeong-hyup, the Acting Mayor of Seoul (right) seated in the EHang 216.

EHang Holdings' 216 two-seater passenger grade AAV has completed its maiden flight in South Korea. The flight took place on 11 November at the Open the Urban Sky UAM Seoul demo event in the centre of Seoul. A series of trial flights of EHang 216 will follow in several Korean cities. It is the first time the country has launched an autonomous air taxi flight over a densely populated downtown area.

The maiden flight was approved by Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) after obtaining a special certificate of airworthiness (SAC) for the EHang 216 AAV, a first SAC ever issued to a passenger grade AAV. The EHang 216 was purchased by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and is the first of its kind in Korea to be officially registered under the Nationality and Registration Mark HL008X by MOLIT.

The acting mayor of Seoul, Seo Jeong-hyup says: “The air taxi is a dream of mankind for future transportation. We are excited that Seoul can host the country's first domestic demo flight. Seoul is pioneering itself as an innovative hub of the world. Urban air mobility services are drawing keen attention as an option to alleviate ground traffic congestion with a huge potential for growth. The city government will strive to realise the human dream of safe flights for Seoul citizens and thus support the future industry of Korea.”

The South Korea government announced the Korean Urban Air Mobility (K-UAM) Roadmap in June 2020 and expects to commercialise UAM services around 2023 to 2025. On top of the maiden flight in Seoul, EHang plans to launch a series of trial flights in more locations across Korea for a variety of UAM uses, such as urban passenger transportation, aerial sightseeing, island hopping and aerial logistics.

EHang founder, chairman and CEO, Huazhi Hu concludes: “We are glad to see the Korean government taking the initiative in planning and implementing urban air mobility in Asia. This pioneering special certificate of airworthiness marks a leap for both parties and builds on our regulatory breakthroughs in China, Europe and America. We are excited to be the world's first company to provide safe, comfortable, efficient and eco-friendly urban mobility solutions to Korea. We expect to accelerate UAM development and to expand in the Korea market in the near future.”

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