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Call It K-UAM

Incheon, South Korea plans to integrate UAM

Incheon Map

Incheon’s mayor, Jeong-bok Yoo, is spearheading an initiative to prepare, adapt, and integrate urban air mobility into the fabric of this metropolis of roughly 3 million people. The city has published the Advanced Air Mobility Concept of Operations for Incheon Metropolitan City. The 46-page pamphlet lays out the city’s vision to bring UAM online by the end of this decade and to have the transportation mode fully integrated into Incheon society by 2050.

Incheon AAM The Advanced Air Mobility Concept of Operations for Incheon Metropolitan City (the first publication of its kind by a local government in Korea) presents a vision and approach to proactively establish an AAM ecosystem that considers urban development, environmental issues, and infrastructure changes in the setting of the large city of Incheon

What, when, and why

Incheon has identified two goals for the implementation and integration of UAM:

  • Enabling residents of the Incheon islands to visit mainland Incheon and return home on the same day.
  • Enable Incheon residents to traverse the broader Incheon and Seoul region within half an hour.

In parallel with these goals, Incheon has prioritized three facets of this initiative as it invests in developing and deploying AAM:

  • The safety and well-being of its citizenry
  • Community involvement to earn its trust and foster its acceptance of AAM
  • Improve the quality of life by enabling greater access to environmentally friendly, efficient mobility.

A partnership of public sector institutions and a four-phase rollout

Incheon will not be going it alone as it transitions to an AAM-enabled region. The city is partnering with Incheon International Airport Corporation, Korea Land and Housing, and leveraging its membership in UAM Team Korea (UTK), which is a public-private consultative body launched by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation (MOLIT). Incheon has also created the Global UAM Regional Summit (GURS) as an international system which pulls together the resources of airports and research institutes.

  • Incheon’s path forward is planned to take place in four phases:

Phase 1: 2020-2025 Research, development, and demonstration

Phase 2: 2025-2030 Integration and initial commercial deployment

Phase 3: 2030-2040 Maturation and expansion

Phase 4: 2040-2050 Operational concept and path forward

Along the way, Incheon will be developing vertiports, charging stations, and finalizing route planning to bring the benefits of AAM to its citizens and demonstrate its commitment to modern transportation solutions.

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Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke is a California-based writer who is fascinated by the way technology changes our lives.