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Unmanned Vehicles and New Technologies of the Future

In January, the “ENAC National Strategic Plan for Development of Advanced Air Mobility” was presented at the international convention hosted at the Ridolfi Airport in Forlì.

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority, alongside its role as regulator in the aeronautical field, has nowadays assumed more than ever a leading role on technological and scientific competences, functional to the development of the sector with particular attention to the social needs and environmental issues.

A clear example of this role is the National Strategic Plan for Development of Advanced Air Mobility (2021/2030) which also contains a 59-point “Road Map” and an integrated Business Plan, with the aim of creating a system capable of integrating new types of mobility, in order to carry out cargo and passenger transport operations in urban and extra-urban areas through the use of advanced aircraft, also without on-board pilots. Among the main objectives of the Plan are the issuance of regulations responding to the needs of new technologies being implemented and investment models combining efforts of the public and private sectors.

As regards to the Urban Air Mobility, it was highlighted that the prototypes already implemented are a good starting point for the effective adoption of such aircraft in a few years’ time, notwithstanding the need of several enabling factors for the development process, such as clear legislation, technological aspects linked to aircraft, as well as physical and digital infrastructures. At the end of the event, the ENAC’s Director General stressed the great ambition of a programme such as the one presented in Forlì Airport, especially in a period in which the aeronautical sector has been strongly penalized by the effects of the pandemic, and reiterated how strategic it is for ENAC to have a continuous dialogue with the universities and research world, in order to collaborate on innovative projects of great scope such as Advanced Air Mobility.

This article was originally published by Giulio Teofilatto of Studio Pierallini in Aviation Journal January 2022, no. 1

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