Hanwha Systems CEO Kim Yeon-chul signed a memorandum of understanding on July 3rd in Seoul with Korea Airports Corporation President Son Chang-wan to partner on the development of UAM enabling technologies, including passenger boarding services, end-to-end integration, infrastructure planning, and airspace development tailored specifically for the commercial deployment of on-demand aerial mobility services.
Hanwha Systems previously established themselves within the aerial mobility sphere last year after investing substantially in Overair, a spinoff of the Uber Elevate Partnering Karem Aircraft company. Korea Airports Corporation intends to bring the construction and architectural experience commensurate with the firms’ management of 14 airports in South Korea. They also manage the Korea Civil Aviation Training Center. The partnership is also opportune as the integration between last-mile trips and transfers from fixed wing aircraft can be streamlined as development efforts are undertaken by KAC.
The MoU represents the expansion of aerial mobility frameworks in Asia, as nearby countries such as China continue to advance the progress and breadth of aerial mobility offerings that will soon be available to the public on an on-demand basis.
Kim Yeon-chul is quoted at the press conference stating that Hanwha Systems is to become a “global UAM solutions provider” by the year 2025.
Why it’s important: Hanwha and KAC represent a powerful partnership that allows for considerable experience to be leveraged from both air frame development and infrastructure know-how fields. Additionally, this MoU limits the exposure of each company within the aerial mobility industry and will allow for a more seamless integration of aerial mobility flight paths and vertiports at Korean airports already under management by KAC. Additionally, Hanwha System’s previous investments in UAM airframe design and development companies has allowed them to gain experience while limiting the large capital expenditures required to stand up a company from scratch.
Source // Business Korea, Korea IT Times, Hanwha Systems Press Release