LONDON – EHang Holdings Limited, an Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (“AAV”) technology platform company, announced that the EH216 AAV has completed its maiden flight by the Spanish National Police (“SNP”).
The first test flight took place at the National Academy of Police in Ávila, Spain, to initiate its trial operations by SNP in Spain.
Public maiden flight
The public maiden flight ceremony was attended and witnessed by distinguished guests and officials from the Spanish State for Security, SNP, the Spanish State Aviation Safety Agency (“AESA”), members of academia institutions, as well as the media.
The ceremony was presided by Rafael Pérez, the Secretary of the Spanish State for Security, who said: “The SNP is the first security institution in the European Union to operate an AAV.”
Unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) constitute an alternative technological asset for multiple purposes, such as deployment in dangerous areas following a natural disaster or an accident, without endangering human lives.”
“The lower operating costs of UAS and their constant new applications show great advantages over traditional aerial means.”
Pedro Prieto, the Director of Aerial Means of Spanish National Police, noted, “The capability to operate the EH216 AAV from a remote command and control station, which may be hundreds of kilometers away, reflects the National Police’s commitment to fulfill its digital transformation objectives.”
Victoria Jing Xiang, Chief Operating Officer of EHang Europe and Latin America, commented, “EHang is proud to partner with a law enforcement agency and support SNP with our AAV technologies to fulfill emergency response and public safety missions.”
“SNP’s entry into trial operation of EH216 AAV lays a foundation for the deployment of Urban Air Mobility in Europe and sets an excellent example of commitment to public safety through advancing technology.”
History with the Spanish National Police
In 2021, the eVTOL aircraft developer first announced that it was collaborating with the Spanish National Police to explore potential use cases for AAVs in emergency and security missions.
At a Press Day of Expodronica at World Air Traffic Management Congress in October 2021, EHang made the first public exhibition of the EHang 216 passenger-grade AAV in Spain at the Cuatro Vientos Aerodrome in Madrid.
EHang and the Spanish National Police plan to work closely to use the AAV in emergency situations such as rescue, surveillance and other missions that are critical for improving the quality of life and safety of citizens.
As a result of this collaboration, the Spanish National Police and EHang, together with the Polytechnic University of Valencia (“UPV”), will demonstrate how to best utilize revolutionary AAV technology through trial flights and use case analysis, thus exploring safer and more effective solutions for saving more lives.
At the time, Chief Commissioner of the Air Vehicles Unit of Spanish National Police affirmed the collaboration with EHang and the UPV represent progress in determining the best uses of AAV for policing, saying:
“AAV technology holds the promise to significantly improve our capability in emergency and security missions, such as firefighting, accessing contaminated areas with nuclear, radiological, bacteriological or chemical risks, landing in confined areas, transporting material, and other police services that may require agile mobility.”
“The application of the AAV technology makes the Spanish National Police a vanguard among police using AAV technology nationally and internationally.”