HeliKorea has committed to purchase 20 Butterfly eVTOL aircraft from Overair. The aircraft will be used for medical, executive and cargo transport, as well as firefighting, high-voltage power line inspection and other applications. Overair will provide pilot and maintenance training.
The agreement was signed at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX), where Overair and its strategic partner Hanwha Systems also agreed to work with the Korean Police to integrate AAM within the agency. The Police Department's Human Resources Development Institute will work with Overair on developing comprehensive training programmes to support vertiport development and AAM deployment through vertiport integration, pilot training, maintenance, community education and more.
The agreements will leverage Hanwha's expertise in UATM, software management systems, communication, navigation, surveillance and information hardware equipment as well as its air travel infrastructure. Hanwha will provide each project with systems and operational support to ensure UATM certification and safe, efficient operation.
“Overair is a company with global ambitions. Announcing these agreements at Seoul ADEX 2023 not only shows the importance of these partnerships in Korea but also exemplifies our commitment to supporting all aspects of AAM worldwide,” says CEO Ben Tigner.
Overair is planning to jointly develop a series of AAM networks across east south Asian markets with South Korean construction convergence innovator Daewoo E&C. The companies will develop and implement a concept of operations, select local operators and vertiport sites, establish urban air traffic management systems and engage with local aviation and government authorities to create a viable regulatory framework for AAM operations. Daewoo E&C will focus on vertiport establishment while Overair will provide operational guidance and aircraft integration expertise.
“Overair is committed to supporting South Korea's strong AAM ambitions through partnerships like these that ensure all facets of the ecosystem are considered. Local governments, operators and infrastructure providers alike will play an integral role as we enter this new era of transportation,” adds Tigner. “We look forward to collaborating with our partners at Hanwha Systems on these exciting new projects, which will bring real benefits to the communities they impact and provide a solid foundation to further AAM adoption across southeast Asia.”