Jennifer Meszaros, Future Flight
International air safety regulators played a prominent part in discussions at last week’s Global Urban & Advanced Air Summit in Singapore. While professing encouragement regarding advanced air mobility technologies and services, the officials made it clear that extensive work and engagement with industry will be required to ensure the new sector of aviation gets up and running on a solid regulatory foundation.
Stephen Hillier, chair of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), delivered a keynote speech before participating in a regulator perspective panel. Joining him were Tan Kah Han, chief technology officer and senior director for the unmanned systems group of the Civil Aviation Authority Singapore (CAAS); Sascha Oliver Schott, EASA’s drones section manager; and FAA’s Chris Carter, director for the Asia Pacific region for the Office of International Affairs.
Hillier highlighted the significance of establishing a safety-focused ecosystem, fortified by strong support from elected officials and industry leaders, along with financial backing, to help facilitate innovation and secure public approval for advanced air mobility (AAM). Against this backdrop, he introduced the UK Future Flight program, a $365 million three-phase initiative designed to facilitate regulatory and societal preparedness, as well as the advancement and commercialization of new aircraft powered by electricity or hydrogen, some of which would operate autonomously.