EHang and Azerbaijan Airlines join to manage UAV traffic at Heydar Aliyev International.
The agreement was signed on October 9, 2019 in Baku by EHang Founder, Chairman and CEO Huazhi Hu and Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) President Jahangir Asgarov.
EHang has recently made signficant strides in advancing the operations and implementation of its cutting-edge autonomous air vehicle (AAV) technologies, and is now considering filing for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO). The company continues to seek worldwide opportunities to increase deliveries of vehicles and begin flights in cities, proven by over 100 passenger-carrying autonomous test flights.
The command-and-control center will allow Azerbaijan Air Navigation Services (AZANS), the air navigation services provider for the Republic of Azerbaijan, to control UAV traffic on the airport’s premises and prevent the unauthorized use of UAVs. It will be fully integrated with the Azerbaijani air traffic control system, serving more than 500 aircraft daily, 300 of which are transit flights over Azerbaijan.
The command-and-control center will also equip AZANS with technologies including 3D mapping and terrain scanning to support airfield design and aerial navigation map development. A future web application could include UAV and pilot registration information, certification documents and permissions for flight procedures. As part of the agreement, EHang will also train UAV specialists at the National Academy of Aviation of Azerbaijan and build a UAV management simulator complex.
“UAVs represent a significant opportunity to optimize airport operations, but it is important to launch them into the right infrastructural framework,” said Hu Huazhi. “Our command-and-control center enables the seamless integration of new aerial mobility options into existing air traffic patterns and we are excited to partner with AZANS on this project, which paves the way for future partnerships with aviation authorities globally.”
Why it’s important: Heydar Aliyev International Airport has set a convincing precedent as it recently became the first airport in the world to completely switch to Cloud technologies. Now, the implementation of a UAV traffic management system further demonstrates ways by which airports can prepare for technological advancements in aviation and airspace management.