Japan: Airbus collaborates with Hiratagakuen to trial future eVTOL flight routes, concept of operations, in Kansai region

Air­bus is part­ner­ing with Japan­ese heli­copter oper­a­tor, Hirata­gakuen, to devel­op Advanced Air Mobil­i­ty (AAM) ser­vices in the Kan­sai region and beyond, reports a press release. Via this agree­ment, Air­bus and Hirata­gakuen are to explore the dif­fer­ent facets required to launch a com­mer­cial ser­vice with CityAir­bus NextGen.

The release states, “The first step, a project to organ­ise a sim­u­la­tion of ide­al routes, con­cepts of oper­a­tions and nec­es­sary equip­ment for safe eVTOL flights in the Kan­sai region, has been select­ed by the Osa­ka pre­fec­ture, with a demon­stra­tion flight sched­uled for lat­er this year.”

With an aim to imple­ment air mobil­i­ty ser­vices beyond urban envi­ron­ments, the col­lab­o­ra­tion will sup­port the devel­op­ment of AAM solu­tions along­side the NextGen. Exam­ples include air med­ical ser­vices and com­mer­cial air trans­port to eco­tourism. With the sup­port of local stake­hold­ers, Air­bus and Hirata­gakuen are to use an H135 heli­copter to test advanced nav­i­ga­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies for safe oper­a­tions of eVTOLs in urban envi­ron­ments, while sim­u­lat­ing CityAir­bus NextGen’s flight con­fig­u­ra­tion

Mit­suhi­ro Hira­ta, Vice Pres­i­dent, Avi­a­tion Oper­a­tion Divi­sion of Hirata­gakuen, com­ment­ed, “We have been oper­at­ing Air­bus heli­copters for many years and appre­ci­ate their high safe­ty, per­for­mance, oper­a­tional reli­a­bil­i­ty and proven after-sales sup­port. We are aware that a rev­o­lu­tion in air trans­porta­tion is now approach­ing in the Osa­ka area, and we expect CityAir­bus NextGen to play a cen­tral role in this rev­o­lu­tion.”

Balk­iz Sar­i­han, Head of UAM Strat­e­gy Exe­cu­tion and Part­ner­ships at Air­bus, added, “Hiratagakuen’s exper­tise in com­mer­cial air trans­port and air med­ical ser­vices oper­a­tions makes them an ide­al part­ner for defin­ing the oper­a­tional frame­work for advanced air mobil­i­ty with CityAir­bus NextGen in Japan”.

Balk­iz Sar­i­han


Hirata­gakuen is a Kan­sai based heli­copter oper­a­tor who spe­cialis­es in Heli­copter Emer­gency Med­ical Ser­vices (HEMS), trans­porta­tion of per­son­nel, flight train­ing, and main­te­nance. The company’s cur­rent fleet includes 14 H135 and two H145 heli­copters.

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eVTOL Insights Editorial

This article was compiled by the eVTOL Insights editorial team.

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