SK Telecom (SKT) has joined a partnership, composed of Korea Airports Corporation, Hanwha Systems and the Korea Transport Institute, working on the commercialisation of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in South Korea.
Developed in response to traffic congestions typically found in cities, UAM refers to urban transportation systems that move people by air. UAM is achieved through the use of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircrafts.
In an MOU announced today, SKT – under the partnership – will test and build communication network models for UAM. The company plans to create an ideal communications environment for UAM, where stable and reliable connectivity between aircrafts and ground infrastructure is essential.
SKT will also develop a UAM service platform to provide all related services - e.g. booking, transit, etc. - in an integrated manner to provide seamless mobility to customers, allowing them to efficiently travel to a destination by using diverse modes of transportation including UAM, bus, train and personal mobility vehicles.
The Korea Airports Corporation will build and operate UAM infrastructure including vertiports, and manage UAM Traffic, while Hanwha Systems develop UAM aircrafts as well as solutions for UAM traffic control and navigation. The Korea Transport Institute will conduct studies to forecast the demand and receptivity for UAM.
As members of “UAM Team Korea”, an industry-academia-research council and policy community launched by the Korean Government, the four parties will hasten the realisation of the government’s UAM roadmap (locally known as the K-UAM Roadmap) through collaborative research and development in all related areas including UAM infrastructure, aircrafts, air traffic, demand and receptivity.
“Through close partnership with the Korea Airports Corporation, Hanwha Systems, and the Korea Transport Institute, we will accelerate the commercialization of urban air mobility in Korea and gain industry leadership by introducing a new and innovative mobility infrastructure,” said Ryu Young-sang, president of MNO at SKT.
Going forward, the four members of the UAM Team Korea expect their efforts to contribute to reducing social costs caused by traffic congestion in large cities including the metropolitan area and help GHG-free, environmentally-friendly transportation take root in Korea.