The 2nd EU-Asia UAS/UAM Symposium co-organised by EASA and CAAS was held from 7-11 Nov 2024 in Singapore. AAIS and local industry players were once again invited to present and participate in the sessions on 9 and 10 Oct 2023. Chaired by CAAS Senior Director and CTO Mr Tan Kah Han, the 2 days were an excellent time of exchange, learning and networking.


Amongst other things, industry benefited from the summary of the prior 2 days’ discussions between regulators (below). It has often been discussed that harmonisation of regulations could help accelerate deployment of new UAS/UAM concepts and technologies. However, Mr Tan explained in his introduction that convergence was instead more realistic and also beneficial.

Capacity and capability building for UAS and UAM regulatory development

  1. Organisation structure and regulations needed to evolve to complement evolving technology
  2. Staff training is needed to ensure that CAA is able to facilitate the needs of industry. “Can do attitude”
  3. Due to uniqueness of each State’s operation environment, it is more likely for regulations to converge than to be harmonised

Drone regulations

  1. Rapid growth of UAS industry and varied use cases have led to an increase in complexity. The challenges posed in the areas of safety, security and resources were common to countries
  2. Authorities can consider developing adaptive regulations to deal with such challenges
  3. In making regulations, need to place attention on details such as language differences, simplicity for ease of understanding requirements, and the use of visuals to support implementation
  4. Collaboration is key. An open-minded attitude by regulators and industry is needed to accommodate diverse perspectives and innovative solutions

Approaches to VTOL certification, validation and acceptance

  1. Certification requires close cooperation between State of Design and industry. CAA needed to rapidly build up specialist knowledge (e.g. electric propulsion)
  2. Stepwise innovative approach (initial mitigation with tight operational limitations that are gradually lifted with experience)
  3. Having a good CONOPS would help State of Registry and Operators to communicate with State of Design, and ensure operational considerations are included in the certification

Entry into Service/Building a sustainable Innovative Air Mobility (IAM) hub

  1. Adapt current regulations to support EIS while being mindful of individual CONOPS
  2. Public and local authority acceptance is vital, and the industry should be involved in engagement efforts
  3. Trust needs to be built with all stakeholders to create a single source of truth for safety, privacy, noise and sustainability aspects.

Approaches to Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management

  1. The different implementation architectures were discussed, and which services needed to be centralised and which could be provided by UTM SPs
  2. Noting that many countries will seek to deploy UTM as a cloud-based set of services, security was a key concern

Day 3 and Day 4 discussions shed light on how VTOL and UTM were expected to take shape, as regulators and industry continued to engage on pioneering a path forward.

UAS Operators – Industry Perspectives

  1. Collaboration between Industry and regulators to identify and overcome obstacles in carrying out UAS operations
  2. Approvals on an organizational level rather than an activity level can help ease regulatory burdens
  3. Policies need to be updated more frequently and agile in line with the evolving technology
  4. Positive community engagement by the regulator is important to show the community that drones are a reliable permanent offering

Outlook of UAS/UAM Market Development

  1. Next phase of AAM development will focus on implementation
      • Tech need to outperform current modes of transport
      • Ability to take over existing routes
      • Create new demand
      • Scalable infrastructure
  2. Social Acceptance needs to be addressed
  3. Expanding the Aircraft Protocol will help to create support for investment and financing for scaling

UTM Operators –  Industry Perspectives

  1. Many stakeholders involved. Important to bring technology, standards and regulations together
  2. Starting from cooperative traffic management, the path from regulatory strategic conflict detection to strategic deconfliction needs to be defined
  3. Involvement of the State in nationalization of services, ensuring national needs and guarantee the interoperability of UTM and nationalized services
  4. Different approaches (UTM services non-certified vs certified) and different architecture solutions (distributed vs federated vs centralized) are under debate
  5.  Academia can support with valuable studies and simulations

VTOL OEM Perspectives

  1. Most manufacturers are choosing to advance stepwise from pilot on board first, to certain levels of automation, to autonomy
  2. Existing ATM will likely be able to support at the beginning due to the lower number of operations, but UATM systems will be needed due to the high number of operations in future
  3. Battery is a key technology, where continued research is expected to improve energy density, reducing weight and cost.
  4. The VTOL design will be scalable: the first entrant will be the least profitable: better battery will allow to increase payload and performance

We thank EASA and CAAS for this visionary effort to level up both regulators and industry on the developments in UAM/UAS and to facilitate a platform for constructive dialogue.