By Philip Butterworth-Hayes
China’s “The Paper”, based in Anhui province, reports that on December 28, 2023, Hefei City’s Luogang Park “will host the world’s first commercial flight of EHang’s unmanned manned aircraft.” If the flight goes ahead as planned and the facts in the newspaper report are as published – the flight being a commercial operation with paying passengers – this will be a landmark event, signalling the launch of the electric air taxi industry worldwide.
The following text is a transcript of the newspaper story which has been translated by google translate.
“A test flight rehearsal will be held on December 27 to provide maintenance services. During the event, air safety in Luogang Park and surrounding areas will be ensured to ensure the safe and smooth conduct of the event.”
The following measures have been taken to assure the safety of the flight, according to the newspaper:
“No-fly control periods and areas. From December 27 to 28, 2023, temporary airspace control will be carried out in the Luogang Park area (from Baohe Avenue in the east, Huizhou Avenue in the west, Fanhua Avenue in the north, and Huanghe Road in the south) from 8:00 to 17:00 every day.
“During the flight ban, units and individuals are prohibited from using drones and other “low, slow and small” aircraft (referring to small aircraft and airborne objects that have all or part of the characteristics of “low-altitude and ultra-low flying, slow speed, and difficult to be detected by radar”, including Light and ultra-light aircraft, light helicopters, gliders, delta wings, powered delta wings, paragliders, powered parachutes, hot air balloons, airships, drones, aviation models, aerospace models, airborne balloons, tethered balloons, etc.) and other behaviors that affect the safety of activities.
“Strictly implement the approval procedures. If it is really necessary to fly, an application should be submitted to the organizer, and the flight can only be conducted with the approval of the organizer. Flight application contact: Mr. Wang 18773169076.
“Investigate and punish flight violations in accordance with the law. During the temporary control period, the general public and flying enthusiasts are requested to actively cooperate and consciously abide by the provisions of this notice to prevent illegal flights. At that time, the Hefei Municipal Public Security Bureau will cooperate with relevant departments to carry out inspections. For violations of flight regulations, the public security organs will work with relevant departments to investigate and deal with them in accordance with the law; those who violate public security management regulations will be punished by the public security organs in accordance with the “Public Security Management Punishment Law of the People’s Republic of China”; if the circumstances are serious enough to constitute a crime, criminal responsibility will be pursued in accordance with the law.”
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