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Germany lays foundations for air mobility initiative
Under the leadership of Airbus, Germany’s Air Mobility Initiative will research intercity UAM. Projects revolve around eVTOL aircraft; unmanned traffic management services; and vertiports for airport/city integration.
The CityAirbus NextGen will support development of Germany's air mobility initiative.
Read this story in our May 2022 printed issue.

To advance the development of regional and urban air mobility, leading German companies, universities and research institutions as well as municipalities and organisations are joining forces to form the Air Mobility Initiative (AMI).

AMI members include Munich Airport International, Airbus, City of Ingolstadt, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Flugsicherung, Diehl Aerospace, Droniq, Red Cross and Telekom. This initiative, which is funded by the Free State of Bavaria and the Federal Republic of Germany, will set up a series of research projects aimed at making electric air mobility within and between cities a reality. The joint projects are centred around three main areas: eVTOL aircraft, unmanned air traffic management services and vertiports, the necessary infrastructure on the ground for airport and city integration.

"A few years ago, air mobility was just a vision. Today, with AMI, we are taking a big step towards its realisation. We at Munich Airport International see enormous potential in this new form of mobility. The AMI partnership enables us to jointly develop and implement scalable and sustainable air mobility concepts for the public," says CEO Dr Ralf Gaffal.

"We will examine the various elements of such an air transport system in realistic projects to gain an accurate picture of the technical and regulatory requirements," adds head of AMI Andreas Thellmann. "Electric air transport can enhance public transport, airports and time critical mobility services. It will be environmentally friendly, quiet and safe."

In a first step, the AMI partners will address the technological, infrastructural, legal and social prerequisites for the future implementation of advanced air transport. The knowledge gained will be carried through a demonstration project under real conditions with eVTOL aircraft. Work on the individual AMI projects began in January 2022. Test flights for the pilot project will be carried out in the region around Ingolstadt.

Airbus is responsible for the electrically powered aircraft together with Diehl Aerospace, University Stuttgart and other partners. Components and systems for the CityAirbus NextGen are to be developed in this workstream.

The area of unmanned traffic management deals with the safe and efficient flight of vehicles on their routes in and outside cities. This topic is being advanced together with Droniq, Airbus, f.u.n.k.e. Avionics, SkyFive, BrigkAir, DFS, Telekom, the universities of Munich and Hamburg as well as other partners.

In the vertiport project, innovative and sustainable solutions will be developed for the planning, permitting, implementation and operation of ground infrastructure for eVTOL vehicles. In order to integrate vertiports into airports many prerequisites like environmental impact, intermodality, slot neutrality, regulatory requirements, approval of flight procedures and ground infrastructure, as well as digital solutions for a seamless travel chain, have to be taken into account. Under the leadership of Munich Airport International, a team consisting of interdisciplinary experts from Bauhaus Luftfahrt, Nuremberg airport, the universities of Ingolstadt, Eichstätt and Munich as well as other academic and industry partners will work closely together on this.

The initiative is funded with a total of €17 million from the Free State of Bavaria and €24 million from the Federal Government. Together with the industry's own funds, this results in a total activity of €86 million over a period of three years.

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