Hamburg joins EU Urban Air Mobility Initiative

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As one of the first cities, Hamburg is being welcomed to the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Initiative of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) which is supported by the European Commission. This makes the region an official demonstrator region for the implementation of civilian usage of drone and other urban air mobility technologies, addressing existing and new mobility needs in view of improving the life of its citizens.

In close cooperation with industry, universities, authorities and the public, feasibility studies for the systematic deployment of air mobility solutions in Hamburg’s ur-ban areas will be developed. Targeted solutions will explore, for example, the time-sensitive transport of medical goods or the inspection and maintenance of large infra-structure facilities such as port bridges and wind turbines.

The Manifesto of Intent was formally signed on Thursday at the 52nd Hamburg Avia-tion Forum at the Hotel Hafen Hamburg, in the presence of Dr. Henriette Van Eijl, Policy Coordinator Smart Cities at the European Commission (DG Move). Present Signatories included Senator Frank Horch, Hamburg Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation, Dr. Vassilis Agouridas, EIP-SCC UAM Initiative Leader (Airbus), and Ovidiu Dumitrache from Eurocontrol.

“With internationally visible core industries such as aviation, maritime logistics, wind energy and life sciences, Hamburg is predestined to develop new, smart civilian applica-tion areas for drones, beneficial in equal measure to the commercial sector and the general population. As host city for the ITS World Congress 2021, we are delighted to already be involved in shaping the dialog in this growth market at the European level,” says Senator Frank Horch, Hamburg Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation.
Possible scenarios: transport of emergency goods, wind turbine maintenance

The “Urban Air Mobility” initiative, endorsed and supported by the European Commission, is part of the Sustainable Urban Mobility action cluster of EIP-SCC – aimed at delivering concrete projects in cities with positive impact on citizens’ life, by raising investments and accelerating innovation. The background is the economic cost of traf-fic congestion – estimated to already exceed 100 billion Euros per year Europe-wide, and rising. On top of this, there are additional difficulties, such as bridges being com-pletely closed for maintenance work, and risks, for example when important medical treatment is delayed because couriers of blood bottles are stuck in traffic. In addition to saving time and money, the targeted usage of air mobility solutions around drones could also support the development of innovative services in metropolitan regions.

Alongside Hamburg, other European metropolitan regions, such as Geneva, are partici-pating in the Urban Air Mobility Initiative. Ongoing interaction and communication be-tween the engaged cities is planned. The initiative is led by Airbus, while institutional partners include Eurocontrol and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Hamburg supporters and partners include the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation, Lufthansa Technik, several universities, and the ZAL Center for Ap-plied Aeronautical Research. The latter laid the thematic foundation for the successful European cooperation with the WiNDroVe project last year. “Commercial UAVs” were also a topic at the 52nd Hamburg Aviation Forum, the networking event where the agreement was signed, with 200 people in attendance.

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.