Korean Air and other South Korean companies have completed an urban air mobility (UAM) demonstration to explore operational and safety issues.

The work took place of over five weeks from 11 March and was conducted under the auspices of the K-UAM (Korean Urban Air Mobility) Grand Challenge. The tests took place at Goheung Aviation Test Center in the country’s southern Jeolla province.

[Photo] Korean Air K-UAM

Source: Korean Air

The Korean Air UAM team tested the use of a 5G network to connect an eVTOL with the company’s operation system

Korean says that the effort validated its UAM operating system using a 5G telecoms network to link to an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle.

“Leveraging the airline’s extensive operational expertise, Korean Air demonstrated the reliability and effectiveness of its in-house developed proprietary UAM Operation Control System and Traffic Management System,” says Korean Air.

“These systems collectively ensure safe and efficient urban air travel.”

In all, 10 scenarios were tested during the project, including both normal and abnormal operations. The data gathered will inform safe UAM operations in urban settings.

Korean Air’s partners in the project were Hyundai Motor Company – parent to eVTOL developer Supernal – Korea Telecom, Incheon International airport, and Hyundai Engineering and Construction.

In February 2023, Korean Air entered a memorandum of understanding with the South Korean government and other partners to test the feasibility of UAM operations in the country.

The K-UAM Grand Challenge aspires to test the safety and viability of UAM. Following demonstrations, it aims to establish safety standards and pave the way for commercial UAM use by 2025.