The MAHHL Cities (Maastricht, Aachen, Hasselt, Heerlen, Liège) have joined the Urban Air Mobility programme, a venture led by Airbus and is supported by the European Commission and with institutional partners including 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.
“By joining the UAM initiative collectively, the MAHHL-Cities cross several of these borders at once. First and foremost, of course, they cross the existing border between urban mobility and air mobility,” said a press release. “In addition, the borders between industry, science and society will be surpassed by the heterogeneous network of partners from all three countries involved, with a view to making this new technology efficient, safe and citizen-centred. Last but not least, the borders between the three countries shall be overcome with regard to developing integrated mobility solutions leveraging this new technology. A three-country-cooperation on urban air mobility including no less than five cities is unique across Europe.”
In late June Willy Demeyer (Mayor of the City of Liège), Annemarie Penn-Te Strake (Mayor of the City of Maastricht), Emile Roemer (Acting Mayor of the City of Heerlen) and Nadja Vananroye (Mayor of the City of Hasselt) signed the Manifesto of Intent, and were formally joined at the signing ceremony by Mr Marcel Philipp (Lord Mayor of the City of Aachen) who signed along with Dr Vassilis Agouridas (EIP-SCC, UAM Initiative Leader; Airbus) in the presence of Mr Georg Houben (European Commission), Mr Stephan Zaß (Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Germany) and Dr. Dirk Günnewig (Ministry of Transport, North-Rhine-Westphalia) demonstrating the interest, institutional and political support at regional, national and supranational level of authorities.
Further present signees included, among others, Ms Maria Algar-Ruiz (EASA), Dr Andreas Klöckner (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR), Mr JC Robert Delhaye (Drone Think Do, EIP-SCC, UAM Initiative Ambassador in Belgium), Peter Asché (Uniklinik RWTH Aachen), Mr Markus Wellensiek (Air s.Pace GmbH), Prof. Dr. Peter Verkoulen (Brightlands Smart Services Campus), and Prof. Dr. Ansar Yasar (Transportation Research Institute (IMOB), University of Hasselt) as well as numerous cross border partners from public authorities, industry and science. Eurocontrol, the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure from Germany, the Belgian Ministry of Transport, Civil Aviation Authority and Belgocontrol as well as the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) have expressed also their support.
Before the official ceremony, the first steps towards project definition had been made in the context of a kick-off workshop. Working groups were created, where both various use cases, ranging from the medical sector to passenger transport, as well as common topics such as loading and landing opportunities, funding and regulatory matters will be discussed in detail soon. Thereby, feasible projects can shortly be identified and then selected in accordance with the MAHHL-Cities’ priorities.