News & Updates Conference in Dublin: Opportunities and Challenges for Advanced Air Mobility

The conference in Dublin brought together over 200 industry leaders, policymakers, and experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the aviation industry. The conference was held at the Westin Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, and focused on five main areas: Advanced Air Mobility, Autonomous Aviation, Electric Aircraft, Hydrogen, and Vertiports.

Declan Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive Designate of the Irish Aviation Authority, opened the Revolution.Aero conference, highlighting numerous reasons why companies should consider starting operations in Ireland.

He said “From an economic perspective, Ireland’s business-friendly environment is a major draw. The country is full of talented professionals in all industries, and offers an excellent quality of life. Moreover, with a proactive regulator, and top-notch infrastructure Ireland is the most attractive destination for businesses of all kinds”.

Our company as well as many of our partners of the EALU-AER project (The Irish Aviation Authority, The Shannon Airport Group, Avtrain and Manna Drone Delivery), attended the conference and contributed to various discussions around Advanced Air Mobility. Our CEO, Russell Vickers, was part of a panel discussion about infrastructure and vertiports, alongside John Drysdale from The Shannon Airport Group. Additionally, Julie Garland, the founder and CEO of Avtrain, took part in a panel discussion covering the topic of skills gap and training requirements for EVTOL pilots. Paul Kennedy, from the Irish Aviation Authority was in a panel discussion covering the topic of airspace requirements for drones and Advanced Air Mobility. Bobby Healy, the founder and CEO of Manna Aero was in a fireside discussion sharing Manna’s experience in operating drone deliveries in Ireland and expansion plans in Europe and USA.

In the panel around Infrastructure and Vertiports, Russell and John highlighted the ongoing collaborations between FMCI and The Shannon Airport Group to establish Ireland as a leader in the Advanced Air Mobility industry and to support the growth of this emerging sector. Ireland’s first vertiport was established in 2021 through the Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme administered by Enterprise Ireland. A fund that helped create an Advanced Air Mobility Hub currently used for the implementation of one Europe’s Digital Sky Demonstrators in Ireland: EALU-AER.

Julie Garland was invited to the panel addressing the  skills gap and training requirements for EVTOL pilots  with a focus on the challenges and opportunities in the area of training, simulation, operation, etc. As EVTOL aircraft are a new type of aircraft, the existing pilot training infrastructure and standards need to be re-evaluated and updated to meet the needs of this emerging industry. The panel discussed the need for industry-wide collaboration in order to address the challenges of EVTOL pilot training and certification. As EVTOL pilots wouldn’t necessarily need to make long flights and will be able to return home at the end of each day, involving more women in aviation was seen as an opportunity.

During the conference, Paul Kennedy, Manager of the Air Navigation Services Division at the IAA, contributed to the discussion on evolving airspace requirements for drones and Advanced Air Mobility. During his participation, he gave a brief overview of the advanced air mobility activities carried out at FMCI in Shannon. Paul explained that FMCI is working on implementing U-space services as part of a European project called EALU-AER, which aims to improve the integration of manned and unmanned aviation systems in Ireland and Europe. The U-space services will enable the safe and efficient integration of low-altitude airspace operations, such as air taxis and drones, into the existing aviation system.

In one of the fireside discussion, Bobby Healy started his session with a video showing the impact of drone deliveries and footprint of Manna drone delivery in one day in Balbriggan. A video that was a perfect way to start a conversation about the success of Manna in brining drone delivery into reality in Ireland and its plans to expand to other European countries and the United States with the recent announcement in collaboration with Coca Cola.

In conclusion, the conference in Dublin was a highly informative and productive event that brought together industry leaders, policymakers, and experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the aviation industry. Our company was proud to contribute alongside our partners to various panel discussions. Discussions that highlighted the potential benefits of these emerging technologies, such as reducing emissions and noise pollution, the regulatory frameworks needed to support them, skills gaps, etc. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners and colleagues in the aviation industry to promote innovation and progress.