[Pangyo Tech] Hanwha Systems, Korea Airports Corporation, and SK Telecom forming ‘K-UAM Dream Team’ Consortium

Hanwha Systems formed the ‘K-UAM Dream Team’ consortium with Korea Airports Corporation and SK Telecom and started to provide Korea’s first commercial UAM service in Jeju-do by 2025. They will develop a pilot service connecting Jeju International Airport and major tourist attractions, and build vertiports (take-off and landing site) and UAM traffic management system.

The ‘K-UAM Dream Team’ signed an MOU for the ‘Jeju UAM Pilot Project’ with Jeju-do at Tamna Hall on the 14th. Representatives of each company who attended the signing ceremony decided to work together to create the first successful case of UAM commercial service in Korea as a hyper-cooperative business model that combines the strengths of private·public·local governments.

As the consortium and Jeju-do started institutional discussions for the UAM pilot project, such as the ‘Act on Promotion and Support of Urban Air Mobility Utilization’ was proposed in August, In Jeju Island, which has a safe operating environment and sufficient tourism demand, they are planning to create a business environment by modifying and supplementing current aviation system and the infrastructure.

The locational aspect of Jeju-do as Korea’s largest tourist attraction makes it easy to secure public acceptance, and rapid commercialization is possible because the Korea Airports Corporation’s Jeju Airport and navigation facility resources can be utilized to the fullest.

For the Jeju UAM pilot project in 2025 ▲Hanwha Systems will develop UAM aircraft, manufacture·sel·operate·maintains(MRO), and develop navigation and control solutions ▲Korea Airports Corporation will build UAM vertiports and operate navigation safety facilities by providing UAM traffic management service using infrastructure ▲SK Telecom will be responsible for providing UAM service based on a cooperative system between Joby Aviation from the United States, developing and operating a mobility platform, and in charge of communication system for UAM ▲Jeju-do will provide UAM operation site·infrastructure, and support licensing and administration in order to promote UAM ecosystem.

Based on their unique sensor·radar·avionics·ICT technologies, Hanwha Systems entered the UAM market for the first time in Korea in July 2019 and is developing an electric vertical take-off and landing UAM aircraft (eVTOL) ‘Butterfly’. Hanwha Systems, which is planning to conduct the first flight test of a full-scale unmanned prototype next year, is in the process of acquiring a Type Certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2025 with Overair, a joint development company of the US. Currently, they are also focusing on the development of
communication·navigation·surveillance and information (CNSi)
infrastructure control system technology required for UAM operation.

The consortium will verify safety through the government demonstration project K-UAM Grand Challenge 1st~2nd stages (2023~2024, Goheung, Jeollanam-do, and the metropolitan area), and at the same time, build ground infrastructure such as vertiport, which is UAM vertical take-off and landing site, to build UAM in Jeju-do in 2025. They plan to start a pilot project and develop it as a basis for complex urban UAM operation by incorporating future technologies.

Currently, major cities in the world (LA·Florida, the US, Paris, France and Osaka, Japan) are planning to commercialize UAM from 2024 to 2025, and the Jeju-do pilot project is expected to be the fastest in Korea.

Seong-cheol Eoh, CEO of Hanwha Systems, said, “Hanwha Systems is providing a total solution for the
development·operation·infrastructure of Advanced Air Vehicle(AAV), and we have a goal to verify safety of UAM and to preemptively prepare operational and technical standards suitable for domestic conditions. The K-UAM Dream Team Consortium will do its best to lower the psychological hurdles for new transportation in Jeju, where tourism·cultural resources are concentrated, and to lead the future mobility paradigm.”

Hyung-joong Yoon, president of Korea Airports Corporation, said, “The Jeju-do pilot project is based on the know-how and technology of Korea Airports Corporation, which has been responsible for Korea’s aviation safety for the past 40 years, as well as future technology and capital possessed by Hanwha Systems and SK Telecom, and support from Jeju-do. This project is the hyper-cooperative business model that combines all the resources from these organizations, and it will serve as an opportunity for Korea to take off as a global leader in the UAM industry. We will continue to take on challenges through cooperation with the private sector in the future.”

Young-sang Ryu, CEO of SK Telecom, said, “We will grow Jeju-do, an eco-friendly tourist attraction, based on UAM’s innovation, to become a game changer for future mobility services. We plan to create tangible results through close collaboration of the K-UAM Dream Team Consortium and set mid- to long-term goals.”

Hanwha Systems·Korea Airports Corporation·SK Telecom have been collaborating to create a UAM ecosystem since last year, and in April, they launched the ‘K-UAM Dream Team’ consortium with the Korea Transport Institute and the Korea Meteorological Institute.

Source: Pangyo Techno Valley Official Newsroom

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