Example of a flying taxi. Photo for illustration.Photo: Shutterstock/Ashishtobu

Boeing is going to make small electric planes that can fly without a pilot. That said board member Marc Allen of the American aircraft manufacturer on Tuesday during the Amsterdam Drone Week (ADW) in the RAI. These are aircraft that can transport a maximum of four people between different cities over short distances of no more than 145 kilometers. Boeing wants more people to fly this way.

Initially, the aircraft will be used for cargo flights, but Boeing is also developing aircraft for passenger transport. According to Allen, 29 percent of people worldwide have never flown. “We want to give more people the opportunity to fly. Passenger transport is a major challenge, especially in densely populated areas,” he says. With electrical devices, the aircraft manufacturer wants to meet the European climate target to be climate neutral in 2050.

The aircraft must fly without pilots, but will be monitored remotely. Partner company Wisk has now 1600 carried out test flights with this type, says Allen. According to him, that device is ready for certification.

Medicines The European Commission (EC) wants to make it possible to 1600 transport people between different cities in drones. Last November, the EC adopted a vision on the further development of the European drone market. It states, among other things, that air taxis must be able to fly completely autonomously, but that the first drone taxis will have a pilot on board. The drones must also be able to be used to deliver medicines.

Policy In Europe, tests are already being carried out with taxi drones with pilots, but still without passengers, says Nynke Lipsius, director of the ADW. According to Lipsius, this is already going “very well”. She points out that there are already European traffic rules, rules that aircraft must comply with and rules about which pilot’s license pilots must have. However, it still has to be agreed where drones are allowed to fly. “Municipalities and provinces will have to work on policy for the use of drones.”

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