UAM Team Korea Welcomes 10 New Members to its Ranks, Adding Momentum to the K-UAM Grand Challenge
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT, Minister NOH Hyeong-ouk) is launching a large-scale Urban Air Mobility (UAM) demonstration project to make the makeup of the UAM Team Korea more robust and to promote commercialization of UAM services in Korea.
MOLIT announced that it held the 3rd UAM Team Korea Council on December 28 (Tue) at 14:00 KST, joined by 37 organizations in the field of UAM. The agenda discussed at the Council includes: ① Operational plans for the K-UAM Grand Challenge and ② Expansion of the membership of the UAM Team Korea.
The UAM Team Korea discussed ways to promote UAM so that it can be safely and securely integrated into the domestic environment.
【Agenda #1 Operational plans for the K-UAM Grand Challenge (UAM demonstration project)】
A draft operational plan for the K-UAM Grand Challenge was resolved by the Council. The K-UAM Grand Challenge is a public-private joint program on UAM demonstration conducted to verify safety of UAM solutions before commercialization and to prepare a concept of operations (ConOps) and technical standards suitable for the domestic environment.
The K-UAM Grand Challenge will be held prior to the introduction of the first commercial UAM services in Korea to ① verify safety, ② establish appropriate safety standards, and ③ support UAM businesses in testing out their UAM solutions through demonstrations.
The 1st Phase (2023) of the Grand Challenge program will take place at a national flight test site (Open terrain at Goheung-gun, Jeollanam-do). Flight tests will be done to check the safety and stability of communications systems and UAM aircraft, and demonstrations will be conducted on integrated operations of K-UAM transport systems.
In the 2nd Phase (2024) of the Grand Challenge, test flights - similar to actual commercial services - will be conducted on the routes where the first commercial UAM services are expected to be introduced in 2025. The air routes will connect airports with urban and semi-urban areas and will be designated exclusively for UAM operations.
MOLIT designated a national flight test site in December 2020 as the test bed for the 1st Phase of the Grand Challenge (2022~2023), and started preparing necessary infrastructure for flight demonstrations such as takeoff and landing sites and performance measuring equipment (April 2021).
The Ministry plans to officially announce the promotion plan for the K-UAM Grand Challenge early next year, recruit participants and carry out consultations to decide which UAM solutions will be tested, and finally begin the 1st Phase of the Challenge in 2023.
【Agenda #2 Expansion of the membership of the UAM Team Korea】
A rising number of organizations are wishing to join the UAM Team Korea, which is a consultative body that aims to facilitate introduction of UAM services and build a UAM industry ecosystem in Korea.
Among them, 10 organizations including Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Korea Expressway Corporation became new members of the UAM Team Korea, making the Team the undeniable center of public-private collaboration in the field of UAM.
With the Team Korea’s growing membership, the initiatives outlined in the K-UAM Roadmap such as the Grand Challenge program will gain momentum.
Next year, the UAM Team Korea will discuss more specific issues for introduction of commercial UAM services, including the establishment of a special act on UAM, creating air corridors exclusive to UAM operations, and setting a guideline for UAM infrastructure.
MOLIT Vice Minister for Transport Hwang Seong-Kyu said, “Thanks to UAM Team Korea members’ active support and cooperation on all fronts, the initiatives under the K-UAM Roadmap are being carried out without a hitch.”
He added, “The announcement of the final plan for the K-UAM Grand Challenge will serve as a springboard for Korea’s UAM industry in its efforts to become a leader in the global market. We will make the most of the momentum gained through the Grand Challenge to achieve realization of K-UAM.”
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