EHang (亿航, Nasdaq: EH), a leading Chinese eVTOL company, yesterday announced the formation of its first European urban air mobility (UAM) center in Spain.
Located inside the Lleida–Alguaire International Airport, about two hours’ drive from Barcelona, the center is the first of its kind in Europe for unmanned eVTOL aircraft.
According to EHang, it sets a benchmark globally for eVTOL operation to integrate effectively with airport infrastructure, air traffic management systems, operational procedures, and other information technologies.
“The establishment of EHang’s European UAM center marks an important step forward in the Company’s international development,” Huazhi Hu, founder, chairman and CEO of EHang, stated at the inauguration ceremony. “Through this world-class UAM center, EHang expects to manifest its strong commitment with the development and deployment of UAM in Europe.”
Marc Sanglas, Secretary of Mobility and Infrastructure of Catalonian Government in Spain, said the region was “grateful” to EHang for choosing one of its airports as the site for its first European UAM center.
The center’s inception resulted from the collaboration between EHang and Aeroports de Catalunya, one of the main international airports in Catalonia, in the field of UAM.
An outpost at the tip of Europe
The facility includes a vertiport EHang said is fully compliant with the design criteria adopted by European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
The acquisition by the Guangzhou-headquartered eVTOL pioneer of an outpost at the tip of Europe has strategic importance for both itself and Europe’s aviation industry, EHang said.
An EH216-S aircraft flies above the Lleida–Alguaire International Airport
It is expected to position European aviation and airport sectors at the forefront of global advanced air mobility industry, according to a press release posted on the company’s website.
The center’s establishment came about two weeks after EHang crossed a milestone as it became the world’s first eVTOL company to land a type certificate for its EH216-S manned flying car on October 13.
This historical moment cleared the hurdles for EHang to eventually become qualified to run commercial air taxi services, nine years after it was founded and four years after it listed on Nasdaq.
Market observers point out that the expected deployment of EH216-S at the company’s European UAM center will likely help it accumulate operational experience and knowledge outside China.