Eve publishes CONOPs detailing potential UAM operations in Rio de Janeiro

Avatar for Jen NevansBy Jen Nevans | May 6, 2022

Estimated reading time 5 minutes, 19 seconds.

Embraer’s Eve Air Mobility has published its concept of operations (CONOPs) this week, detailing how urban air mobility (UAM) could work in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Eve Air Mobility
Eve Air Mobility has published its CONOPs this week, detailing how urban air mobility could work in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Eve Air Mobility Image

The CONOPs combines the work of 11 partners that have been exploring UAM operations in Brazil since last summer — a key focus region for Eve which hopes to type certify its eVTOL aircraft with the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC) by the end of 2025, followed by other aviation authorities.

The living document includes data from a month-long flight operation conducted in November to simulate a UAM environment. The company had used a Bell 505 helicopter in place of an eVTOL aircraft to fly between Barra da Tijuca and RIOgaleão International Airport.

“All the partners of this working group play essential roles in the development of urban air mobility. Therefore, this collaborative document was designed to better understand the characteristics and challenges faced by this mode of transport,” said Luiz Mauad, vice president of services and fleet operations at Eve, in a press release. “It also provides information about the UAM ecosystem that can not only be adapted but also developed with solutions to ensure a safe and sustainable expansion.”

Like most eVTOL companies, Eve is developing a piloted eVTOL aircraft, but previously told eVTOL.com that its aircraft design will be “autonomous ready” for future autonomous flights.

Working with its parent company Embraer, Eve announced on Friday that it has finished a series of experimental flights in Rio de Janeiro to explore autonomous system technologies.

In collaboration with Daedalean, Iris Automation, and Near Earth Autonomy, the work took place over seven days and was a part of the Embraer Autonomous Systems project to explore the solutions needed to enable autonomous aviation in the future.

This included exploring scenarios for take-off, climb, cruise, approach, and landing. The companies used helicopters from Helisul Aviação, one of Eve’s partners for UAM development in Brazil.

“All information and data raised in this project, as well as the technical solutions under development, will set the path for fully autonomous flight of eVTOLs in the future,” said Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve. “We are thrilled with all operational aspects exercised and data acquired in this project and its direct connection to our CONOPs. These are solid steps for safely introducing future autonomous operations and accelerating the affordability and growth of the UAM market.”

Eve said the CONOPs in Rio de Janeiro will act as a blueprint for launching UAM in any city. Besides Brazil, Eve has also set its sights on the U.K. after publishing a CONOPs in March showing how UAM could be integrated in the U.K. airspace. That same month, Eve showed similar interest in Miami-Dade County when it formed a consortium of companies to look at UAM in that region.  

“Eve is also making impressive progress in advancing the development of global eVTOL infrastructure,” said Jerry DeMuro, co-CEO of Eve. “With our recently announced partnership with Skyports, a leading infrastructure provider for eVTOL passenger and cargo vehicles, we will be supporting the development of a CONOPs for advanced air mobility, including UAM, for the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau.”

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