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Advanced & Short-Haul Mobility for All (ASHA)

24 Mar 2023

Advanced Air mobility is usually enabled by drones, eVTOLs and smaller fixed wing crafts that do not require long runways or advanced infrastructure. Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) is an air transport system that integrates new, transformational aircraft designs and flight technologies into existing and modified airspace operations. The objective of AAM is to move people and cargo between places more effectively, especially in currently underserved urban and rural environments. The concept of short-haul and advanced air mobility (AAM) has long been considered by governments, academia, and enterprises as a plausible solution to issues like traffic congestion and pollution caused by road transport in urban areas. From air ambulances and emergency medical services, Commercial Inter-city (Longer Range/Thin Haul), Last mile connectivity, Cargo Delivery and to Public Services and Private / Recreational Vehicles, the applications of air mobility are numerous.

While the gains from air mobility are obvious, India needs certain regulatory and budgetary reforms to create the right environment for the ecosystem to evolve. The Government of India has recognised the importance of drones or UAV (AAM technology) for further growth of the country and has thus taken steps to develop a robust regulatory and policy framework. The introduction of the liberalised Drone Rules, 2021, and PLI schemes attest to the Government’s efforts to promote the sector. 

Apart from taking measures in the regulatory (regulations supporting BVLOS, counter-drone measures, privacy, etc.) and technology domain (development of indigenous drone-related technologies), the Government can also work towards infrastructure development and demand generation, thereby developing a conducive ecosystem for the sector. There is need to upgrade utility infrastructure to accommodate fast charging or mega-watt charging capabilities.

Manufacturing will form one of the most critical aspects in the value chain of eVTOLS and Drones. To strengthen the ecosystem in India for eVTOLs/Drones an integrated framework spanning manufacturing, operations and maintenance is much needed. It would also provide ample of opportunities for the Indian startups with a deep focus on innovation and new technologies. The future is electric, this is evident both in the way the markets are moving as well as the increasingly intelligent consumer choices being made by Indians to promote the government’s aims of sustainability and cleanliness. There is a distinct need for developing the conversation around electric vertical aircrafts and their impact. 

The US approved a law on Advanced Air Mobility on 17 October 2022 which shows that the era of flying taxis is not a far-fetched idea anymore. While many OEMs are in advanced certification stages, Europe is leading the way in eVTOL development.

The development of a national roadmap would be critical to identify priority use cases. This would help in the optimal allocation of resources and fast development of the required infrastructure to promote both innovation and application of advanced air mobility technologies. To know more and hear experts, join us in Bengaluru and register here: : https://cam.mycii.in/ORNew/Registration.html?EventId=E000060525

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