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Israel extends EHang eVTOL flights over urban areas in latest INDI trials

“Israel on Wednesday expanded test flights of air taxis to urban areas in Jerusalem as it prepares the airspace for a drone delivery network of passengers and heavy cargo to ease traffic congestion on the country’s roads,” reported the Times of Israel.

The trials are part of the USD15.7 million Israel National Drone Initiative (INDI), involving EHang 216 eVTOL flights from Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, flying over the hills of the city and landing back at the medical centre’s premises after less than half an hour.

“The overall aim of the project is to fly passengers and heavy cargo from one place to another and relieve traffic congestion on Israel’s busy roads by using drones, as well as provide commercial and public services, in particular in life-saving missions in emergency scenarios such as earthquakes with mass casualties, and for urgent medical supplies and tests,” said the news report.

The Israel National Drone Initiative (INDI), is a joint initiative of the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), Ayalon Highways Co LTD, Civil Aviation Authority of Israel, Israel Ministry of Transportation, and Israel Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) with the support of the World Economic Forum.

According to the IIA:

“In the past year, the INDI has been able to scale up the Israeli civil and commercial UAV industry from no operation at all to 6,400 sorties. The initiative managed to work together, remove regulatory barriers and allow the delivery of blood, medical applications, commercial goods and food via air with drones in the most dense area of the country

“A public-private partnership to improve the supply chain by effectively implementing U-Space/UTM airspace technologies over the Israeli urban environment, and to reach a national drone delivery network with economic feasibility.”

Dronery, a subsidiary of Israeli drone delivery fleet operator Cando Drones, operated the Jerusalem demonstration flight.

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(Image: Dronery)

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