On October 30th and 31st, the SAMVA project convened its 2nd Steering Committee Meeting, hosted by Aeroports of Catalunya at Lleida Airport in Spain. This gathering marked a pivotal moment for the project as it celebrated the successful completion of its first year, showcasing remarkable progress toward achieving its objectives.
SAMVA project (SBAS Adoption in Multicopter VTOL Aircraft) intends to foster the adoption of EGNOS technology within the provision of rotorcraft and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) services and U-space integration. Much has been done towards this objective already in the first year of the project, as shown in the mid-term review meeting with EUSPA (European Union Agency for the Space Programme), the body which is partially funding the project.
The SAMVA partners came together to report on their achievements, bringing the project one step closer to achieving its primary goals. These goals encompass the operational implementation of EGNOS-based operations, the outfitting of autonomous aircraft, and the development of enablers to foster the broader acceptance of EGNOS, with a particular focus on the autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) segment.
The SAMVA project has been making significant strides in its various work packages. In Work Package 1, a conceptual procedure was crafted and shared with ENAIRE (Spain's air navigation service provider), marking a substantial presence at the 11th FLAG Meeting. Work Package 2 achieved a significant milestone with the formalized agreement between Aeroports de Catalunya and EHang for airport premises use, closely coordinating vertiport infrastructure requirements with AESA (Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency). Work Package 3 delved into the assessment and upgrade of the EH216 Navigation System to align it to the SAMVA project requirements, showcasing the project's commitment to cutting-edge technology. In Work Package 4, coordination with EHANG was fostered for technical documentation and procedure design criteria to demonstrate precision and safety focus. Work Package 5 defined SAMVA integrity, ensuring safety and reliability. Lastly, Work Package 6 has been excelling in communication, branding, and dissemination efforts, with an upcoming dissemination event. The dedication and collaboration of project partners continue to drive SAMVA towards its goals.
Following the 2nd Steering Committee Meeting, on October 31st, the SAMVA project underwent its mid-term review by EUSPA. This review was instrumental in ensuring that the project's work aligns with its objectives and remains on course. The outcomes of this meeting were positive, proving that the SAMVA project is on track.
On the same morning, an Advisory Board meeting took place, where stakeholders and interested parties were updated on the project's development. The SAMVA project extended an invitation to these stakeholders, encouraging them to provide valuable insights and feedback, thus fostering collaboration and collective success.
Concluding this dynamic two-day event, two of the project's partners, EHang and Aeroports de Catalunya, organised a remarkable inauguration—that of the first EHang European UAM (Urban Air Mobility) Center in Spain. Located in Lleida–Alguaire International Airport, this center is the pioneering facility of its kind in Europe for unmanned electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
More information about the Lleida-Alguaire European Urban Air Mobility Center can be found in the media: