The Euregio, a cross border region spanning Germany and the Netherlands around Twente and bordering parts of Niedersachsen and Nordrhein-Westfalia, has become the first Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Initiative demonstration project featuring cross-border regional cooperation between two European countries. The intended cooperation aims to improve public safety in the border area by using innovative air mobility. As such, Euregio becomes the first region to join the EIP-SCC UAM Initiative following the cities of Geneva Hamburg, Ingolstadt, Gent, Plovdiv and Brussels.
The “Urban Air Mobility” (UAM) Initiative of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC), which is supported by the European Commission, aims to bring together cities, citizens, businesses and other stakeholders in order to accelerate practical application studies and their consequent implementation. The initiative is led by Airbus, while institutional partners include Eurocontrol and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The EIP UAM initiative is founded on a city-centric approach with a diversified set of demonstration projects with engaged smart cities and regions. The target is to jointly develop, through horizontal cooperation of diverse mobility actors, concrete urban air mobility solutions (intra-city and inter-city mobility) with real impact by addressing established mobility needs of the specific cities.
On 6 September the Manifesto of Intent was formally signed at the City Hall of the City of Enschede. Signatories include inter alia Mr Onno van Veldhuizen, (Mayor of the City of Enschede), Mr Markus Lewe (Mayor of the City of Munster; signed on the 4th), Mr Rob Welten (Board Chairman of Euregio), Dr Vassilis Agouridas (EIP-SCC, UAM Initiative Leader; Airbus), Mr Michiel van Dorst (CEO, Air Traffic Control The Netherlands, LVNL), Prof. Rolf Henke (member of the executive board of German Aerospace Center, DLR), Mrs Marja Eijkman (Director of Aerospace Operations at Netherlands Aerospace Center, NLR), Mr Stephan Wevers (Chief Fire Officer at Fire Department Twente), Mr Bas Leerink (Board Chairman of Medisch Spectrum Twente Hospital).
The signatures of the Manifesto of Intent signal the start of a project definition phase in which Enschede and Münster, two of the biggest cities in the area, together with Euregio will explore opportunities of UAM in the field of emergency services for public safety. Advantages to existing solutions will include faster response, lower costs and less noise disturbance. In a first phase, use cases include observation and signaling drones for example in wild fires. In a later phase, drones that can carry people, to bring a trauma doctor to the scene.
“The applications that are mentioned, like transporting wounded persons by drones, may sound like science fiction, but the technology is being developed very rapidly”, says mayor of Enschede Onno van Veldhuizen. “The first responders in the Euregio are already working together and air mobility can improve their capacity to respond in emergency situations.”
- A LinkedIn port of 10 September reports that Antwerp City has joined the EIP-SCC UAM Network of Demonstration Cities Projects.