Airbus is partnering with Japanese helicopter operator Hiratagakuen to develop advanced air mobility services in the Kansai region, in Japan.
Through this agreement, both companies will tackle crucial aspects required to launch a commercial transportation service with CityAirbus NextGen, still in development.
As a major first step, the partners’ joint project to organise a simulation of ideal routes, concepts of operations and necessary equipment for safe eVTOL flights. Later this year, Airbus and Hiratagakuen will use an H135 helicopter to test advanced navigation and communication technologies for safe operations of eVTOLs in urban environments, while simulating CityAirbus NextGen’s flight configuration.
“Hiratagakuen expertise in commercial air transport and air medical services operations makes them an ideal partner for defining the operational framework for advanced air mobility with CityAirbus NextGen in Japan.”Balkiz Sarihan, Head of UAM Strategy Execution and Partnerships at Airbus.
“We have been operating Airbus helicopters for many years and highly appreciate their high safety, performance, operational reliability and proven after-sales support. We are aware that a revolution in air transportation is now approaching in the Osaka area, and we expect CityAirbus NextGen to play a central role in this revolution.”Mitsuhiro Hirata, Vice President, Aviation Operation Division of Hiratagakuen.
Hiratagakuen is a Kansai-based helicopter operator who specialises in Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), transportation of personnel, flight training, and maintenance. The company’s current fleet includes 14 H135 and two H145 helicopters.