The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has approved trial operations for EHang's Unmanned Aircraft Cloud System. (Photo: EHang)
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has granted approval to air taxi developer EHang to conduct trial operations of its Unmanned Aircraft Cloud System, or UACS, the company announced today. The UACS includes functions related to airspace management, integrating uncrewed aerial vehicles, and managing flight plans and operators.
EHang has already conducted more than 9,300 low-altitude tourism flight trials across China. Approval from the CAAC for testing its UACS gives EHang the necessary foundation for commercial operations following the certification of its uncrewed EH216-S aircraft.
The CAAC officially accepted EHang’s application for type certification (TC) in Jan. 2021. The CAAC announced that the Special Conditions for Type Certification of EHang’s EH216-S aircraft had been formally adopted in Feb. 2022.
In Feb. 2023, the EH216 completed its first passenger-carrying autonomous flight demonstration in Japan. With the approval of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan, the aircraft flew two passengers in Oita City without a pilot onboard.
The EH216 flew two passengers without a pilot onboard in Oita City, Japan. (Photo: EHang)
The air taxi developer has now completed “all of the planned tests and flights in the last phase of demonstration and verification of compliance and also completed the definitive TC Flight Test by the CAAC,” it announced last week. This included demonstrating the safety and airworthiness of the EH216-S batteries, materials, electronics, and software.
EHang’s Huazhi Hu, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, remarked, “This sets the stage for us to secure the type certificate soon and proceed with our endeavors to initiate commercial operations.”
He added, “I believe the remaining procedures will be finished very soon before the official authorization of the type certificate. It will pave the way for our commercial operations in the next stage.”