19 - 20 June 2018
Köln Messe, Cologne, Germany

All Streams are across 2 days

As populations in megacities continue to grow, the existing traffic situation will become increasingly demanding. Personal airborne transportation systems (PATS) and autonomous aerial vehicles capable of transporting people will quickly transition from being executive and VIP systems to being transport solutions potentially as popular as the car has been.

Projects and trials are already taking place around the world, with major aviation manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, city planners and technology companies all showing a keen interest.

In this dedicated conference stream, over 30 speakers will present and discuss radical new urban mobility concepts and solutions that will take transportation in cities to the third_dimension. They will also examine how these personal airborne transportation systems will fit into the urban landscape, who will be the main players and pioneers, and what effect this highly disruptive new mode of urban transport will eventually have on cities of the future.

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Conference Programme

Day 2: Wednesday 20 June

Offenbachsaal - Level 1 Enabling Technology & Overcoming the Challenges for Urban Air Mobility


Darrell Swanson
Principal consultant
AviaSolutions and a board member of the British Aviation Group


Electric aviation – the vehicle and infrastructure challenge

Darrell Swanson
Principal consultant
AviaSolutions and a board member of the British Aviation Group
In this presentation we will examine the key characteristics of fixed-wing electric aircraft and EVTOL and assess their operating characteristics against current and future aviation infrastructure. Drawing on previous presentations, we summarise the operating economics of electric aviation route potential and ask the question, “Can we afford the vertiport infrastructure needed to support EVTOL flights sustainably?” We will look at fixed-wing electric aircraft and specifically the challenge of the last 50 miles and the cost of operating at various airports for these aircraft. Additionally we ask the question, “Do electric aircraft need to access hub airports?”


Urban air mobility: real-world lessons

Clement Monnet
Voom, an Airbus company
The urban air mobility movement has gained an immense amount of momentum in a short period of time. At Voom and Airbus, we too believe that urban air travel will be a major part of the future transportation equation. That said, there are many questions around the market's viability. Is there demand for short-haul air travel? What is the right vehicle configuration? How will the regulatory environment respond? Airbus is taking an experimental approach with Voom, with a goal of answering these questions. Clement will share what has been learned from operating one of the first global urban air mobility companies.


Regulatory challenges for urban air mobility

Gerhard Deiters
BHO Legal
Everyone is talking about urban air mobility in general and drone taxis in particular. In the general perception, passenger transport by drone taxis is not a question of whether or not, but of when and how. However, amongst other things, the current legal framework itself has to evolve, regulatory requirements for the certification of urban traffic management systems have to be established and liability/insurance issues have to be solved, before business can take off. The presentation provides a brief overview of the current legal framework and the legal/regulatory challenges ahead.


The challenges of regulating flying taxis

Paul Rigby
Urban air mobility has huge benefits in Industry 4.0 but flying robots need to play nicely with aeroplanes and helicopters. Big data and AI can be used to take a dynamic, real-time, performance-based regulatory approach enabling a paradigm shift in how we currently regulate air traffic.

10:40 - 11:20



Mobile networks speed up low-altitude airborne traffic

Dr Michael Lipka
Huawei European Research Institute
Developments of current drones are just a step towards intensive air traffic at low altitudes including cargo and surveillance drones as well as autonomous passenger eVTOLs. A UTM ensuring safe air traffic utilising air space resources effectively is essential and cannot realised by traditional air traffic control systems. LTE 4G networks can already provide the capability to support drone control, tracking and HD video transmission but it will reach its limits in mass application. Therefore a future-proof 5G cellular radio network, offering safety-relevant low latency and enough bandwidth to support entertainment applications in 'flying taxis' is proposed.


NexTerm – a global innovation collaborative ecosystem for air travel

Jim Robinson
Managing director
Pegasus Aviation Advisors
The presentation will offer a briefing on the NexTerm initiative – a global innovation collaborative ecosystem designed to bring together early adopter airports, airlines, government authorities and technology providers to address trends in technology advancement such as blockchain technology, cloud computing, hyper-personalised connectivity, robotics and autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things and other emerging technologies. The objective of NexTerm is to develop end-to-end urban mobility and air transport outcomes that streamline the traveller’s experience. The focus will be on the opportunities and challenges in leveraging digital technology, addressing: multi-airport/airline collaboration challenges; future-proofing the planning and development process; from proof of concept to delivery.


Air taxis at airports: shaping future multimodal hubs

Arturo Garcia-Alonso
Senior management consultant, airport operations
Munich Airport International GmbH
The air taxi concept is experiencing a phenomenal development that will change the transportation industry as we know it. To expedite a safe, secure, reliable and sustainable implementation, the aviation industry needs to overcome a number of operational and regulatory challenges. Air taxi customers are expecting seamless multimodal exchange and fast transition from local to international travel markets; therefore, an effective air taxi – airport integration offers great advantages. This presentation provides an overview of challenges, opportunities and solutions to integrate air taxi operations at airports, based on conceptual analysis at different locations worldwide.

12:35 - 13:50



Darrell Swanson
Principal consultant
AviaSolutions and a board member of the British Aviation Group


Finding the power for the electric revolution

Dr Steve Wright
Senior lecturer, avionics and aircraft systems
University of the West of England
Electrical storage and power technologies have made a breakthrough in capability to create a new industry of unmanned aerial vehicles, and the usage envelope has expanded such that personal transport systems are being proposed. However, the very technology that made this breakthrough conceivable is its major weakness: hydrocarbon fuels have provided a gift to the engineer for nearly two centuries now, and the energy storage capacity is proving hard to beat. We have the power, but where will the energy come from? This talk will review the scientific underpinnings of this question, and the technologies that might provide the answers.


Hydrogen fuel cell and battery hybrid system for aviation applications

Prof Josef Kallo
Head of energy systems integration
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
Urban air mobility becomes very interesting for individual transport by introducing new electric, low-noise, propeller-driven propulsion systems. The electrical energy needed is strongly limited by battery system technology and weight. At the DLR battery hybrids – including a hydrogen fuel cell system – show interesting potential for efficient, high-energy storage components. This presentation will show the improvement during the last 12 months of development and discuss future potential.

14:40 - 15:20



FLEXCRAFT – V-TOL hybrid aircraft for flexible operation

José Rui Marcelino
Almadesign Lda
FLEXCRAFT is a VTOL aircraft concept to support passenger and logistics markets. The project focuses on developing three technological building blocks addressing mobility challenges for the future: Flight and Operation, including VTOL capability and hybrid electric propulsion; Versatility and Usability, including innovative multimodal interfaces and disruptive interior design approaches and; Materials and Production Processes, to enable low-cost production technologies. FLEXCRAFT consortium includes Industry partners and R&D institutes – Almadesign, Embraer Portugal, IST, INEGI, SETsa and support from Embraer - in the fields of industrial design and mobility, aeronautical engineering, process engineering and aircraft manufacturing.


Distributed propulsion – electric aviation going forward

Robert Vergnes
Neva Aerospace
Robert Vergnes, chairman and CEO of Neva Aerospace, the original inventor of 3D distributed propulsion in 2009 and static thrust electric turbines (high-efficiency electric ducted fans) will provide an insight into the advance of electric propulsion systems for UAV/UAS and MAV using distributed propulsion and electric turbines. As a myth buster, Robert will provide clarity on the differences and limitations of electric propellers, caged propellers and turbines, then what can be expected in the near future for aero-in-city transportation, and finally an overview of the long-term technological challenges and opportunities for the industry.

16:10 - 16:40

Panel Discussion

What impact will AAV’s have on urban congestion and what are the biggest hurdles to their adoption?


Darrell Swanson
Principal consultant
AviaSolutions and a board member of the British Aviation Group


Tom Gunnarson
Regulatory affairs lead
Kitty Hawk Corporation
Dr Manuela Sauer
Meteorological research scientist
Aurora Flight Sciences - a Boeing Company
Arturo Garcia-Alonso
Senior management consultant, airport operations
Munich Airport International GmbH
Seyed Mohseni
CEO and founder
Samad Aerospace - Starling Jet
Charles Mander
Head of innovation
Dutch Railway (NS Rail)
Please Note: This conference programme may be subject to change