European and Singaporean regulators are teaming up with Airbus to develop safety standards and regulatory requirements for drone flights in urban environments as the manufacturer lays the groundwork for the eventual launch of air mobility services.
The European Aviation Safety Agency says it has signed a collaboration agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Airbus to establish a "framework for the exchange of information and technical expertise".
EASA adds that the partners will be "leveraging Airbus's experience with the ongoing Skyways project".
Skyways is a partnership, signed in 2017, between Airbus Helicopters and Singaporean postal service SingPost to trial an unmanned aerial package delivery system in the city state.
CAAS director general Kevin Shum says the collaboration with EASA and Airbus is "timely as we seek to better define the operating conditions for the growing number of beneficial uses of [unmanned aircraft systems] in urban environments".
This view is echoed by EASA executive director Patrick Ky, who believes that "unmanned aircraft systems used in urban environments will shape the future of public transport".
Airbus vice-president engineering Jean-Brice Dumont describes the collaboration as a "positive move to shape up the safety regulations" as "urban air mobility [is turning] into a business reality for us".