Korean Air completes world’s first comprehensive UAM operations demonstration

Korean Air, in collaboration with Hyundai Motor Company, Korea Telecom (KT), Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC), and Hyundai Engineering & Construction, successfully completed the world’s first comprehensive urban air mobility (UAM) operations demonstration, a goal set for the first phase of the Korean Urban Air Mobility (K-UAM) Grand Challenge. The demonstration was conducted over five weeks from March 11 at Goheung Aviation Test Center in South Jeolla Province.

Korean Air successfully validated its comprehensive urban air mobility (UAM) system by utilizing a 5G aviation communication network that links the electric vertical take-off and landing (e-VTOL) aircraft with the UAM operating systems. 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. These systems collectively ensure safe and efficient urban air travel.

During the demonstration, Korean Air conducted ten scenarios, including normal and abnormal situations, in which it tested the functionality and performance of the operating systems. The data collected from these scenarios will be analyzed to enhance the systems and ensure safe UAM operations in high-density urban environments.

The airline signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), Incheon International Airport Corporation, and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) on February 22, 2023, to test the feasibility of comprehensive UAM operations in Korea. Korean Air will continue to engage in various UAM initiatives, and work to validate and enhance government-established UAM concepts and procedures to develop the UAM ecosystem in Korea.