The European Helicopter Association (EHA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will launch a new collaborative conference for VTOL technology in Cologne, Germany this November. The European Rotors conference, announced at a press event in Cologne earlier this January, will unite a public helicopter industry conference with the preexisting EASA Rotorcraft and VTOL Symposium to draw audiences from both. The three-day conference is set to run from Tuesday to Thursday, November 10 to 12. 

“We are the platform for everything which takes off and lands vertically, it is a show organised by the industry, for the industry.” said Peter Möller, chairman of EHA, “That is what the operators, the OEMs and EASA wanted, just one event with every stakeholder on board and not a couple of different small events all somehow ‘rivaling’ against each other.”

The roles of both eVTOLs and helicopters seemingly coincide, even in the budding market of aerial mobility. However, where helicopters conventionally have a larger focus on longer distance travel, eVTOLs are keying in on inner city transportation. The European Rotors conference signifies an ongoing developing interest from established helicopter companies into the eVTOL market.

According to Möller, “The (far) future will lead into a mixed operation of traditional rotorcraft and eVTOLs as well as manned and unmanned VTOLs. Helicopter operators may change their fleets to offer a mix of both to fulfil their tasks. Therefore, it makes sense to have eVTOL/UAM and rotorcraft as well as manned and unmanned vehicles under one roof.” 

“[However], helicopters are still the major group of VTOLs and manufacturers are still investing lots of money in improving the existing fleet and developing new types. It will take at least two decades before we will see UAVs flying BLOS (beyond line of sight) coordinated and controlled in the same airspace as manned helicopters. Therefore, our VTOL approach to include all types of vertical aviation operation is to gather knowledge, expertise and innovation from both worlds.

Peter Möller, chairman of EHA

Why it’s important: With eVTOLs getting closer to reality for the urban transportation industry, it is important for the EHA and EASA to more clearly define how eVTOLs and helicopters will share airspace. With this latest conference, the EHA and EASA will endorse the future of eVTOLs while staying in touch with the conventional helicopter market. 

Source // Helicopter Investor

Posted by Ian Shin

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