The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Embraer Lays Plans for Melbourne Air Taxi Operations with Australian Partner

EmbraerX’s new Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions subsidiary is to partner with Airservices Australia to further develop the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer’s proposed concept of operations (Conops) for eVTOL air taxi services. The partners will also collaborate on providing the urban air traffic management solutions that they say will be needed to support these operations.

The Conops developed so far by EmbraerX have been conceived initially for plans to introduce urban air mobility (UAM) to Australia. The company, which is Embraer’s advanced technology incubator division, has used the city of Melbourne as a model.

“Through this partnership, we are jointly embarking on the first steps toward Australia becoming one of the world’s first urban air mobility markets,” commented EmbraerX president and CEO Daniel Moczydlower.

Airservices Australia is the country’s government-owned air navigation service provider. The Conops will be further developed using the company’s simulation technology to demonstrate how air taxis could be integrated with existing airspace users in the Melbourne area.

Neither Embraer nor Airservices has proposed a timetable for the launch of services in Melbourne. The city has supposedly been designated as an early-adopter market for Uber Elevate’s planned ride-hailing service beginning in 2023, but the U.S. group’s plans for the location now seen uncertain.

Embraer launched Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions in October. It is working to develop a four-seat all-electric eVTOL aircraft called Eve that would operate flights of up to around 60 miles. Embraer is one of eight partners chosen by Uber to develop aircraft for its planned network. 

“This Conops proposes a safe method for allowing the UAM industry in Australia to scale,” said David Rothblatt, project leader for EmbraerX’s urban air traffic management work. “Following this first critical step, we will start gathering feedback from industry stakeholders and the community to further inform how we can co-create this exciting future.”

The 100-page Conops document is available online and lays out the procedural, technical, and human elements of the anticipated UAM traffic management system, as well as ground infrastructure needs such as vertiports. It takes account of progressive stages in how UAM is expected to develop, starting with piloted flights and progressing to high-density autonomous operations. Feedback can be given to Airservices Australia.