Durban, South Africa -Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) formally known as Urban Air Mobility (UAM) needs solid ground on which to build, not the uncertain sands washed by tides of VC money flowing in and out of the industry.
At a meeting held online to comply with Covid-19 restrictions the board of Vertiport Alliance Africa (VAA) agreed on the following bedrock standards.
The Unmanned Traffic Management system for the Alliance will be Altitude Angel.
Their Drone Safety Map spans over 40 countries, providing accurate, real-time updates to aeronautical and ground hazards. This is live and operational.
Messaging and independent aircraft tracking will be handled by the MeshTastic system. This ensures aircraft can be tracked even if 4G/5G and other internet systems are down. An important consideration in Africa. Each member will maintain nodes at their Vertiport and at least two others in their local area to quickly build infrastructure.
The Vertiport Alliance Africa will continue to expand it’s network of ADS-B, FLARM and OGN receivers that are currently positioned along the N3 between Johannesburg and Durban, a 500km coverage corridor. As with the Meshtastic chain new members will be encouraged to install receivers to improve coverage.
Data from group receivers will be sent to the Altitude Angel UTM.
Of course it has to be mentioned that non compliance by manned aviation, low flying and a lack of radio calls are out of the hands of VAA. We ask that the South African Civil Aviation Authority addresses electronic conspicuity in general aviation community and seek to ensure pilots fly safely.
The Vertiport Alliance Africa is committed to keeping Africa at the forefront of drone delivery and the emerging drone passenger transport market.