Autonomous aerial vehicle platform EHang Holdings has announced that the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has established a type certification (TC) team for the EH216 passenger-grade AAV. The kickoff meeting was held in Guangzhou on 13 and 14 April with the aim of officially advancing the TC approval work of EH216. This is unprecedented in CAAC's record of TC approval projects for unmanned aerial systems.
At the kickoff meeting, expert members of the CAAC TC team investigated and evaluated the design features, technical points, safety performance and other aspects of the EH216, followed by a field trip to EHang's research and development centre. The CAAC team was led by Wei Chen, deputy director of the Central South Regional Administration of CAAC, and, Heyong Lin, director of the Airworthiness Certification Office.
Chen comments: “Type certification of the EH216 passenger-grade unmanned aerial system is a highly innovative project that calls for breakthroughs in the conventional certification process while preserving standard promulgation.”
As the first passenger-grade autonomous aerial vehicle platform company, EHang officially submitted the EH216 type certificate application to CAAC in December 2020, which was accepted by CAAC in January 2021. Last week, CAAC's chief engineer Shijun Yin spearheaded a delegation to visit EHang for inspection of unmanned aerial vehicle certification. The visit included Ehang's R&D centre, command-and-control centre, test base, and production and development facility. The delegation offered important guidance to the type certification process.
Yin remarks: “Unmanned aviation is an integral part of the construction of intelligent civil aviation and may become the primary form of transportation in the future. Government and companies should work together to promote the development of unmanned aerial vehicles and adhere to high-quality standards when building the civil aviation infrastructure. Both the applicant and CAAC should have an innovation mindset in the certification process while benchmarking international standards.”
As the EH216 TC certification progresses, EHang will continue to consolidate its first-mover advantage and accelerate the application of its AAV technology solutions for various practical use cases including passenger transportation, aerial sightseeing, air logistics, aerial firefighting, emergency rescue, and medical transportation.