The Chinese autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) developer EHang has announced plans to construct an “E-port” to support commercial air tour operations in Hezhou city, Guangxi province — the same city where EHang recently demonstrated the use of its eVTOL aircraft for coronavirus-related medical transports.
Guangzhou-based EHang said it will cooperate with a local partner to build the three-story, 2,500-square-meter (27,000-square-foot) E-port, which will include a first-floor reception hall, second-floor passenger waiting area, and a third-floor departure/arrival zone. Four landing pads will be located on the rooftop, which EHang claims will accommodate the landings and take-offs of up to four AAVs simultaneously.
EHang expects the facility to be completed and operational by around the end of this year. Along with construction of the E-port, EHang plans to deliver 20 units of its two-seat, “passenger-grade” EHang 216 AAV for aerial sightseeing. However, a press release announcing the E-port did not indicate when the yet-to-be-certified aircraft will be approved for commercial operations.
“Hezhou is a beautiful city with rich tourism resources and we are excited to enhance their appeal with our AAVs,” EHang founder and CEO Hu Huazhi stated in the release.
“As we progress, we intend to create more commercial applications for EHang AAVs, such as aerial sightseeing, that can uniquely merge modern culture and tourism. We also welcome more local partners to join us and embrace the opportunity to a provide safe, autonomous, and green approach to travel and sightseeing,” he added.