HELSINKI: A new research and innovation project supporting sustainable air mobility in urban contexts via emergency and medical services will test both manned and unmanned drones in real-life conditions in 2023.
The three-year AiRMOUR project began in January 2021 and has received funding of approximately €6 million from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
The project focuses on the research and validation of novel concepts and solutions to make urban air mobility safe, secure, quiet, and green, yet also more accessible, affordable, and publicly accepted.
As the airspace opens up for new transportation systems, new forms of Urban Air Mobility (UAM), such as passenger drones, are gaining more attention. Similar to the adaptation process of electric cars, there are challenges to overcome related to technology regulations, for example.
In order to tackle these challenges, a great deal more research is needed, and cities need to integrate air mobility into their urban planning processes and acquire suitable tools for this. The AiRMOUR project aims to advance the understanding of necessary near-future actions – not only by urban communities, but also by operators, regulators, academia and businesses.
The project will tackle one of the most critical real-life applications of urban air mobility, namely Emergency Medical Services. Within the AiRMOUR project, personal air vehicles for doctors and medical supplies are validated in real-life demonstrations in Stavanger (Norway), Helsinki (Finland) and the region of Nord-Hessen (Germany).
The AiRMOUR project will create a UAM toolbox for aviation and urban authorities; a guidebook for cities, operators, and other stakeholders; and a training program, in cooperation with Eurocontrol.
With the help of these tools, each European local cluster of aviation and urban actors will be able to set-up their own UAM realization. Furthermore, European policymaking, U-space planning and investments will be reinforced as a consequence of AiRMOUR activity, findings, and new knowledge.
“We have several unique elements in the AiRMOUR project, starting from the main outputs, such as the Urban Air Mobility toolbox and training programs. Their pragmatic design brings European cities quickly up to speed in UAM application. Furthermore, the emergency medical service implementation has great potential. Drones are a superior option when, for example, providing remote islands or congested urban areas with critical care”, says Project Coordinator Petri Mononen from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
The AiRMOUR consortium will directly involve the cities and, therefore, ensure that the tools provided are of optimal use and that the impacts can be replicated widely. The consortium has a total of 13 partners, including research institutes, aviation authorities, UAM operators and Emergency Medical Service organizations. Furthermore, the AiRMOUR project will have 10 replicator cities, and an External Advisory Board with strong international support from organizations, such as NASA, Dubai Future Foundation and EASA, in addition to other endorsing bodies.