Most Europeans are in favour of the introduction of eVTOL air taxis and delivery drones, a study conducted by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency has found.
The results of the study on urban air mobility (UAM), which were published last week, show that the majority of people welcome the prospect of services such as air taxis, air ambulances and drone deliveries. However, some of those questioned have concerns about safety, security, noise and the impact on wildlife.
The survey showed that 83% of respondents have a positive initial attitude towards UAM, with 71% ready to try out UAM services. Cases in the common interest, such in emergencies or for medical transportation received strong support.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) study was based on a literature review, market analysis, surveys and interviews. The survey polled 4,000 citizens in six European urban areas and more than 40 qualitative interviews, as well as noise simulation tests.
The cities chosen were Barcelona, Budapest, Hamburg, Milan, Öresund in the Danish-Swedish cross-border area and Paris, with a minimum of 600 people from each location invited to respond. These cities were selected via a standard market analysis and the survey recipients selected to be representative of a cross-section of the local population of each city.
EASA expects eVTOLs and drones to be deployed in Europe within the next three to five years. EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said, “As a result of this study, for the first time, EASA and the EU have insights into what the general public in Europe thinks about this entirely new development in the field of aviation. For EASA as a regulator this information is crucial. It will allow us to set up the rules and regulations for this area in a way that is aligned with the expectations and perceptions of citizens.”
“The fact that the results were homogeneous across the various cities is a good starting point, given that we are looking to create a single regulatory playing field at EU level.”
More details on the study and its results, including a breakdown of the results per city and an overview of the top findings can be found here.
The study results are also being used as part of an impact assessment and regulatory proposal for Urban Air Mobility in Europe in 2022.