AIR, an electric take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) provider, has announced its collaboration with High Lander, a leading drone management and uncrewed traffic management provider. Under this partnership, AIR's aerial vehicles will operate within the airspace coverage provided by High Lander. High Lander is actively working towards achieving full integration of shared airspace between crewed and uncrewed aircraft, employing two scalable software solutions that are compatible with any drone. These solutions are Mission Control and Universal UTM.
Mission Control is a platform designed to manage and automate drone missions for various applications. It serves as a centralized system for mission coordination and control. On the other hand, Universal UTM is an automated uncrewed traffic management platform that continuously monitors all airborne activity in real-time, ensuring safe and compliant operations. It autonomously approves and adjusts flight plans while providing AIR's eVTOLs with in-flight monitoring and conflict warnings to guarantee adherence to aviation regulations.
AIR's flagship eVTOL, AIR ONE, is specifically designed for private ownership and short-distance travel. The aircraft made its debut in October 2021 and obtained airworthiness certification in July 2022, followed by its first public hover test. With a single charge, AIR ONE can fly for up to an hour and comfortably accommodate two passengers and their luggage, with a maximum weight capacity of 250kg. The eVTOL is capable of taking off and landing on any flat surface and can be conveniently folded for storage, occupying a space similar to that of a car. In May 2023, AIR ONE successfully completed its first flight integrated with the Universal UTM system during the Israel National Drone Initiative event.
Rani Plaut, CEO and co-founder of AIR, expressed confidence in the collaboration with High Lander, emphasizing the paramount importance of safety and compliance for AIR ONE. Plaut stated,
"By leveraging the scalable and comprehensive air traffic coverage provided by High Lander's proven UTM system, we are confident that AIR ONE will overcome the remaining regulatory hurdles. We aim to demonstrate to people worldwide that piloting a personal aerial vehicle is not only easy and exciting but also safe and reliable."
Alon Abelson, CEO and co-founder of High Lander, acknowledged the engineering accomplishment of AIR ONE and highlighted the regulatory and safety challenges associated with introducing such innovative technology to the market. Abelson emphasized that these challenges can be overcome with the implementation of Universal UTM. He expressed pride in providing the safety network for AIR ONE, which he believes will pave the way for a new generation of pilots and revolutionize the way people travel.