Japan

Country introduction

The Public-Private Council for Air Transportation Revolution was established in 2018 to develop eVTOL services and members include Volocopter and Joby Aviation, backed by Toyota Motor Corp. In 2018, it published its "Roadmap Towards Air Mobility Revolution," which targeted 2023 as the starting date for commercial flying taxi services. In early 2021 the Japanese government established a task force to implement an eVTOL taxi service at the 2025 Osaka Expo. The “Osaka-Kansai Expo Flying Car Implementation Task Force” will help define flight routes that are safe and compatible with local airports, as well as suitable vertiports for the Expo.

According to the roadmap’s sponsors – the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism:

“Japan aims to implement AAM in society not only for "Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan (Expo 2025)" but also for transportation in depopulated areas, mountainous regions, and isolated islands, as well as for logistics in times of disaster. The public and private sectors, including many key players such as relevant government ministries, experts, aircraft manufacturers, and service suppliers, are committed to pursuing studies on technical issues, proactive use cases, and system designs.

“We would like to welcome players outside Japan and create new concepts of mobility and contribute to SDGs. For AAM to be accepted in society, it is essential to ensure its safety.

“Alongside its active implementation within society, we have conducted research with experts on how to ensure the reliability of safety according to standards of expectation. The Bilateral Aviation Agreement (BASA) between Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)/ European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has been taken into consideration to develop appropriate safety provisions covered by BASA for next-generation AAM in Japan.”

Milestones:

2025 - Completion of operating environments and regulatory framework - Launch flight demonstrations
2025 - AAM passenger transport services will be launched at Expo 2025. The service will transport people from the airport to the Expo 2025 site and urban areas. In addition, scheduled package delivery services for isolated islands, mountainous and urban areas will also be realized, alongside the official launch of AAM. In addition to aerodrome/tourist spots, the number of fixed-route and scheduled services between major metropolitan areas and regional cities will be increased. Flight distances will be expanded to mid-long routes of 50-300 km. The use of AAM for air ambulance (doctor dispatch) services will also expand along with Expansion of package delivery and passenger transportation services
2030 - Passenger transport services and air ambulance services in suburban and urban areas will now be in full swing. Services in harsh climate environments will be possible, expanding the range of applications nationwide and realizing high-density, on-demand operations.

Meanwhile, In January 2022 EHang announced AirX Inc, a leading Japanese air mobility digital platform company, has placed a pre-order for 50 EH216 AAVs. “The pre-order of the EH216 AAVs are planned to facilitate various UAM projects in Japan and may provide "air taxi" services for the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Kansai, Japan, said EHang.

Sources:
www.mlit.go.jp/koku/content/Advanced_Air_Mobility_in_JAPAN_2021.pdf

www.ehang.com/news/856.html