China issues guidance on air taxi airworthiness
China has taken a step forward in the drive to develop self-flying passenger-carrying air taxis.
The Chinese civil aviation authority (CAAC) has issued guidance on airworthiness based on operational risks. It wants to establish a risk-based UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) airworthiness management system by the end of 2019.
A total of five Chinese companies have been authorised to develop different UAV programmes to explore airworthiness standards and certification methods for UAVs for transporting cargos, inspecting powerlines and carrying passengers.
EHang is already test-flying its passenger-carrying drone
EHang is one of those companies and will lead the work on passenger-carrying UAVs.
China’s UAV airworthiness certification management is guided by three principles:
As long as UAV companies establish a qualified airworthiness system and its UAV products have met airworthiness standards, CAAC will issue the airworthiness certificate.
In the near future, CAAC expects the UAV industry will eventually be on a par with the General Aviation industry, or even replace some applications of current General Aviation aircraft.
Hu Huazhi, EHang founder & CEO, said, “The urban air mobility that EHang AAVs (Autonomous Aerial Vehicles) have explored and pioneered persistently is no longer a future concept, it is a to-be realised ‘China Innovation’.
“China and EHang have already become the forerunners in establishing a digitalised air eco-system with the innovative applications of urban air mobility, aerial logistics, smart city management, aerial media and other commercial solutions.”