The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has launched a new digital information space to encourage the exchange of information on air taxis and drones as it seeks to address concerns about the introduction of the tech in Europe. 

The Innovative Air Mobility Hub (IAM Hub) will allow a range of contributors to input information, including cities, national authorities, operators, and manufacturers; and connect to the hub with data then published on the EASA website. 

Luc Tytgat, EASA acting executive director, said: “Today’s launch is the first step in connecting the many new aviation partners who have a stake in Innovative Air Mobility. 

“We want to demonstrate to citizens that Europe and EASA are putting everything in place to ensure a safe and sustainable introduction of these new aircraft. They will be able to find out how these services will work and gain reassurance on matters such as noise level and safety.” 

The agency’s launch of the hub is indicative of the growing influence of the advanced air mobility market, which is already seeing a number of companies across the world race to be the first to bring electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and air taxi services to the mainstream. 

Earlier this year, China-based EHang launched its first European urban air mobility centre in Spain, while Joby Aviation became the first company to conduct electric air taxi flights in New York City

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By GlobalData

A survey conducted by EASA in 2020 found that 83% of Europeans were positive about IAM and drone services, though many had also raised concerns about safety, privacy and sustainability, informing the agency’s decision to launch the IAM Hub. 

Oliver Reinhardt, chief risk and certification officer of air taxi manufacturer Volocopter, said he fully supported the launch of the hub: “Public acceptance is key to bringing a new form of safe, quiet, and emission-free mobility to cities around the world. 

“This can only be reached by entering into an open and honest dialogue with all relevant and affected parties, and by demonstrating the benefits of electric air taxis.”