Local telco KT Corp. took part in the UAM demonstration in South Korea.

Korean Air, in collaboration with Korea Telecom (KT), Hyundai Motor Company, Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) and Hyundai Engineering & Construction said it has successfully completed what it claims is world’s first comprehensive urban air mobility (UAM) operations demonstration.

The Korean airline said that this was the 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, in South Korea.

Korean Air noted it 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. During the tests, Korean Air demonstrated the reliability of its in-house developed proprietary UAM operation control system and traffic management system.

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 company said.

The airline had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), Incheon International Airport Corporation and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in February 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,” the airline said.

Last year, Korean carrier SK Telecom and Joby Aviation, a U.S. urban air mobility (UAM) company had talks with the aim of strengthening their cooperation in the UAM field.

SK Telecom and Joby Aviation discussed cooperation for participation in Phase 1 of the K-UAM Grand Challenge, a UAM technology demonstration project hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport for the commercialization of UAM services in South Korea.

Previously, an urban air mobility consortium led by SK Telecom and Hanwha Systems had inked a partnership with the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province with the aim of launching an air taxi pilot program.

The K-UAM Dream Team Consortium, comprised of SK Telecom, Hanwha Systems, the Korea Airports Corp., the Korea Meteorological Institute and LX, a state-run land information provider, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the target of launching the commercial pilot project on Jeju Island in 2025.

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