A guidebook for local authorities and EMS stakeholders

The field of UAM EMS is still in its infancy and operates in a highly dynamic and multidisciplinary environment. Several domains are affected, such as the medical sector, the aviation domain and the urban and public sector realm. Each have their own ways of working and their own terminology. Clear guidelines on how to deal with UAM EMS are still missing.

This document provides a method, a framework for local authorities and EMS stakeholders, that guides them through the integration process of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) use cases into existing systems and operations. The framework can be understood as a stepwise instruction handbook and is divided into three main phases, namely ‘Explore’, ‘Analyse and ‘Implement’. Each phase is discussed generically and illustrated using real world case examples.

Explore

The ’Explore’ phase aims to identify a value-adding UAM EMS use case within a given functional urban area. The framework suggests analysing the respective area (can be a city or region) in terms of its geographical characteristics and its existing EMS system. Geographical barriers relate to topology, hydrography and climate and may indicate where a high operational gain of air transport lies. The existing EMS system should be analysed by consulting local EMS stakeholders. Current challenges or struggles of EMS stakeholder may hint at value adding use cases.

Analyse

In the ‘Analyse’ phase, the framework suggests analysing the identified UAM EMS use case by means of quantitative and/or qualitative methods. The aim is to create a deeper understanding of the value proposition including expected performance levels and crucial influence parameters.

On the one hand, computer simulation is proposed as an objective data-driven quantitative analysis method. On the other hand, qualitative analysis methods include focus group discussions as well as user and expert interviews. Combining quantitative and qualitative analysis methods can provide a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the system and its context.

Implement

The ’Implement’ phase targets at the operationalization of an UAM EMS use case in the real world and may begin once the decision-makers give the go-ahead signal. In this phase, the envisioned use case encounters the real world. The framework suggests extracting a list of functional requirements and performing an initial feasibility check of the requirements. When the requirements are judged feasible, an implementation roadmap should be created. This roadmap describes the operational phases during the rollout and links tangible To-Do items and risks to the phases. Operational phases with increasing complexity are introduced, to keep the overall risk manageable and provide reaction time buffers for possible system adjustments.

The technology behind unmanned aviation today is not the same as when the AiRMOUR project started, nor will it be static after the project has ended. The rapid evolution in the field makes it difficult to firmly state the demands of supporting technology.

This report is intended to give the reader a broad understanding of the technology involved in the operation of Unmanned Aircraft (UA). It covers technologies in the aircraft itself and technologies required on the ground. The complete system, from the aircraft to the ground segment, is often referred to as the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

The report also discusses preflight planning procedures that are necessary in order to operate safely. It focuses on the needs of the four scenarios stated in the AiRMOUR project. However, the content of this report is relevant
for other unmanned operations as well.

The AiRMOUR project has published a guidebook on Urban Air Mobility integration process for cities and regions. Any feedback to improve the content of the guidebook is welcome to enhance the final version expected in 2023.

The AiRMOUR guidebook is designed to help city and region decision makers to perceive when and how to invest in the development of Urban Air Mobility (UAM). This first version of the guidebook helps to understand the role a city or region should have if it wants to embrace the new capabilities of UAM and better understand this new type of domain. The guidebook is also relevant for other stakeholders in Europe, as it combines the four main points of view relevant to Urban Air Mobility: urban design and mobility, aviation safety, public acceptance and UAM integration process management. The second, more detailed version of the guidebook is expected in late 2023 to consolidate feedback and project proceedings to present the most relevant insights of the program.

The book is structured around thematic areas, for example citizen engagement, legal aspects or multimodality and is designed to answer the main concerns that have been highlighted by cities:

  • Whether to push or to pull; to proactively offer citizens new solutions or to co-create for a higher adoption rate.
  • Balance between time, money and raw materials when confronted with uncertainties.
  • Anticipate the trade-offs and efficient solutions that really answer the needs of the population.
  • How to engage citizens in a meaningful manner.

The book also covers low tech solutions that bring groundbreaking results and reminds cities of stakeholder groups that are too often forgotten.

See the AiRMOUR deliverable 6.2 ‘Guidebook for UAM integration’ (pdf)

Please send your feedback to [email protected]


For further information on the Guidebook, please contact:

Benoît Larrouturou, [email protected]


The AiRMOUR project has published a report on air risk related to Emergency Medical Services in Urban Air Mobility (UAM). The report provides an overview of the overall sources and mitigations of air risk. A more profound discussion is provided on how to better quantify the geographical spread of the risk and hazard severity for the use of UAM operators and for fostering a dialogue between UAM operators, nascent
U-space service providers and Air Navigation Service Providers.

The report presents air risk assessments for the areas in which the AiRMOUR validation flights will be performed. They are Stavanger (Norway), Helsinki (Finland) and Kassel (Germany). Since it is possible that validation flights will be done in Luxembourg, it is also included.

The partner responsible for the report is Linköping University.

See the AiRMOUR deliverable 3.3 ‘Air risk management for UAM EMS operations’ (pdf) and the recommendations for transportation authorities.

For further information, please contact:

Linköping University

Tobias Andersson Granberg, tobias.andersson.granberg(at)liu.se


AiRMOUR develops an Urban Air Mobility GIS Tool to be used in city planning. The tool will help urban decision makers and city planners to think in three dimensions. The partner responsible for the tool is Robots Expert.

The expected growth of drone logistics and other air mobility inside cities mean that the low-level airspace is no longer a concern only for aviation authorities. As air mobility technology is becoming more mature, urban decision makers and city planners need to think in three dimensions.

“The Geographical Information System (GIS) tool will assist city planners and policy makers to visualise combined ground and air data such as noise, nature protection and mobility hotspots”, says Benoît Larrouturou Country Manager Germany at Robots Expert. “Opening the urban airspace also requires citizens to see value in this type of mobility. The tool is designed to facilitate the engagement of citizens in that regard. Being able to visualise the impact increases the understanding and allows for more fact-based decision making.”

With the new tool, new data layers can be used to enrich the decision-making process as cities decide to make them publicly available. A large number of factors, for example air risk mitigation aspects and flight mission boundary conditions and policy management (e.g., management of noise abatement areas, zones with varying public acceptance, population density charts, landing sites and ground risk zones) can be considered. Some factors are meant to be static, others to be managed in a dynamic way, e.g. bird nesting areas should be protected only during the nesting season.

The GIS Tool is a cornerstone in the AiRMOUR City planning toolbox which also includes a UAM Integration Guidebook and a training package with online courses and Masterclasses.

Different data policies in cities

Most of the data relevant for the tool already exists in AiRMOUR partner cities. Combining it in a meaningful way is not trivial. Also, too much data may sometimes be overwhelming to manage and understand. The national policies on access to data very significantly across Europe, and directly impact the speed of adoption of UAM and the potential usefulness of tools such as the AiRMOUR GIS tool.

“Cities have different data policies. These variations cause challenges when developing tools that are based on their data. Many cities collect a lot of data, but it is not always clear how they want to use the data and what they see as the right use for it. There are concerns about privacy issues, too”, says Larrouturou.

“Nevertheless, cities have come a long way when it comes to acquiring data – a lot exists already.”

UAM GIS Tool: https://uaspace.robots.expert/airmour/
AiRMOUR Deliverable 6.1. GIS Tool user manual


For further information, please contact:

Robots Expert

Benoît Larrouturou, benoit.larrouturou(at)robots.expert


The first year of the AiRMOUR project is coming to an end, so it’s time to look back at the achievements and see what will happen next.

Petri Mononen, VTT (right) with Silvio Semanjski from the AURORA UAM project in the ITS Hamburg event in October.

What would you like to raise as the most important results in AiRMOUR this year?


Petri Mononen, AiRMOUR Project Coordinator and Principal Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland:

“The first year has been buzzing with activity, both within the consortium, and with a multitude of liaison activities towards other relevant projects and stakeholders. Despite the ongoing COVID pandemic, the AiRMOUR team has grown stronger and remains enthusiastic and ambitious. Also the number of local stakeholders that became involved in AiRMOUR has seen a tremendous increase in 2021.

In addition to this, the key results reside naturally within the project deliverables, most notably the AiRMOUR Foresight analysis and the AiRMOUR Functional requirements for selected manned and unmanned UAM EMS scenarios. In the Foresight analysis we take a broad look and a disciplined analysis into the alternative futures on Urban Air Mobility in general, and to UAM in the EMS context in particular. The Functional requirement work, on the other hand, holds special importance in terms of the successful implementation of the rest of the project, by defining the urgent medical use cases that our later live validations will be based upon.”


What would you like to highlight in the coming year?

“We are eagerly expecting to enter all of the planned activities during the new year of 2022. Our plans include a wide array of work e.g. within investigating the user acceptance issues, planning of the upcoming education program and masterclasses and of course, translating the now active CONOPS work into executable and safe test flight plans and finally the first live validations.”

Would you like to stay informed about the AiRMOUR news next year? Sign up for our newsletter!

For more information on the upcoming deliverables, see the AiRMOUR deliverables page


The analysis produced by Robots Expert seeks to map the challenges and shape solutions in the field of emergency medical services and UAM.

The AiRMOUR project has published a foresight analysis on Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Emergency Medical Services in EU cities and regions. The analysis covers the current status of mobility, goes through an identification of related challenges and explores the possible solutions or improvements that can be either implemented or researched. The deliverable is part of the AiRMOUR work package ‘Emergency Medical Services UAM concept description’.

“It is incredibly interesting to dive into the complexity of interactions between cities, emergency services and aviation. We uncovered significant differences across Europe and found trends that need to be understood in order to embrace the possibilities that lie in the future”, says Benoît Larrouturou, Country Manager Germany at Robots Expert, the partner responsible for the deliverable.

UAM was first thought of as a third dimension of transportation, cars being the main mode of transportation. The world now focuses on mobility instead of transportation. Thanks to the measures taken by cities and the development of new mobility offerings, from car sharing to micro mobility, car ownership in cities is reaching an all-time low. Mobility is not addressed anymore by adding capacity, but rather looking for efficiency. “In some archipelago cities, such as the AiRMOUR cities Helsinki and Stavanger, aviation technologies may make a positive impact on the delivery of emergency medical services to some islands”, says Larrouturou.

More emphasis on macro trends

One key finding is that most studies take systemic economic growth for granted and ignore macro trends such as climate change, energy transition and scarcity of raw materials. The foresight analysis shows how the topics of energy and resources availability are particularly hidden from the radar. Economic models consider only capital and availability of work, but do not account for energy and raw materials.
The study shows how crucial it is to understand changes around energy and raw materials to apprehend the world in the coming years. The foresight analysis also shows how those economic studies may be misleading the decision makers because they make unstated assumptions that make projections very unreliable.

“There are some cases where airlifting does offer significant advantages over other modes of transport”, says Larrouturou. “The future of emergency medical services has to be thought of in a world more VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) than ever before. All innovations are not equal to progress. We acknowledge that it is particularly challenging for decision makers to discern when many options are possible, several are feasible in a world with more challenges and less energy, even fewer compatible with a 1.5-degree world.”

Shared vision needed

Transversal skills are highly needed to help cities integrate EMS and mobility. “The science is clear, historical patterns can no longer be used to predict the future. The ability to reach the consensus between cities, EMS and aviation stakeholders requires transversal skills that are essential to engage citizens to make the right choices in the future. Floods, sea level rise, fires will spread across Europe. The northern part of it will be most affected. Emergency services should be developed to mitigate and increase the resilience to this changing world”, says Larrouturou and adds: “Further studies need to be made around the impact of the development of micro mobility on EMS services.”

For further information, please contact:

Robots Expert

benoit.larrouturou(at)robots.expert



The report produced by University Medical Center Groningen builds bridges between novel forms of aviation and healthcare.

The AiRMOUR project has published a report on functional requirements for selected manned and unmanned UAM Emergency Medical Services scenarios. The partner responsible for the deliverable is University Medical Center Groningen and it is part of the AiRMOUR work package called ‘Emergency Medical Services UAM concept description’.

The purpose of the report is to select and define generic urgent medical use cases where UAM (Urban Air Mobility) is a transportation concept that is specifically created to move people and goods. It is done in the lower-level airspace (<150m height) of metropolitan areas using electric novel vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

Secondly, the report zooms in on partner cities and regions within the AiRMOUR project and proposes valuable UAM urgent medical use cases. The suggestions are based on the input of local stakeholders, for example from the medical sector, city authorities and research entities.

Bringing together the worlds of aviation and healthcare

“The report starts with the common history of aviation and healthcare and explains how they work together at present. It then continues to explain the new aircraft that the aviation sector is creating and explores new healthcare use cases based on the new types of aircraft”, says Innovation Manager Jaap Hatenboer from University Medical Center Groningen.

All use cases in the report can be characterised by two main features. The first feature is the type of cargo, which can either be a medical product, like equipment, blood, or samples or “human cargo”, such as medical specialists or patients. The second feature is the possibility to provide a predetermined landing zone for potential aircraft use (for example between two medical facilities) or ad hoc destinations (such as accident sites).

Requirements defined for the highest value proposition

The report defines four generic UAM urgent medical use cases. The use cases are characterised by the type of vehicle (small unmanned aircraft, sUA or passenger carrying eVTOL) and the type of landing zone (interfacility or ad-hoc).

The requirements include infrastructure, aircraft capabilities, regulatory or knowledge-based infrastructure and operational requirements. All use cases are defined by functional requirements which provide guidelines on how to set up and operate such use cases for the highest value proposition. The requirements are detailed concerning a viable and a minimum viable system (MVS). The viable system describes a future system neglecting implementation hurdles offering the maximum value proposition to the customer (i.e., the healthcare system). The MVS makes a trade-off compared to the viable system allowing for early commercial application.

“The main challenge with the report was to create a common understanding between ‘aviation’ and ‘healthcare’”, says Hatenboer. “We will continue to improve and deepen the level of understanding through this project”.

For further information, please contact:

UMCG Ambulancezorg

Jaap Hatenboer, j.hatenboer(at)rav.nl

Jannik Krivohlavek, j.krivohlavek(at)rav.nl