Ehang is back. The company that wowed at CES back in 2016 with the first prototype of the Ehang184 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) for passengers announced today that they have been authorized as China’s first pilot company to develop passenger drone programs.
“On January 23rd, 2019, the Airworthiness Department of Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued the Guidance on UAV Airworthiness Certification based on Operational Risks (hereinafter abbreviated as “Guidance”), aiming at establishing a risk-based UAV airworthiness management system by the end of 2019,” says a company press release. “A total of five Chinese UAV companies were authorized as pilots to initiate and develop different UAV programs in exploring airworthiness standards and certification methods for UAVs for transporting cargos, inspecting powerlines and carrying passengers. EHang is a member of the CAAC specialized management group for civil UAVs, and also China’s first company on the world’s leading program for the piloting and testing of the cutting-edge passenger Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (AAV).”
“According to the Guidance, CAAC aimed to build up China’s UAV airworthiness certification management with Chinese characteristics guided by three principles:
- Exploring a certification method by closely orchestrating hierarchical certifications with different levels of operational risks.
- Exploring a certification process by extracting CAAC certification standards and regulations from industrial standards.
- Exploring a certification mode with a more tolerant, open and service-oriented mind by encouraging UAV companies to jointly participate the airworthiness management through integrated information system.
As long as UAV companies establish a qualified airworthiness system and its UAV products have met airworthiness standards, CAAC will issue the airworthiness certificate.”
China’s UAV airworthiness management system is expected to be released by the end of 2019.
“EHang AAVs witness a major innovation and breakthrough of China’s UAV airworthiness management,” said HU Huazhi, EHang Founder & CEO, “The urban air mobility that EHang AAVs have explored and pioneered persistently is no longer a future concept, it is a to-be realized ‘China Innovation’. China and EHang have already become the forerunners in establishing a digitalized air eco-system with the innovative applications of urban air mobility, aerial logistics, smart city management, aerial media and other commercial solutions.”