We have previously covered the establishment of Hong Kong’s new seaplane operator. The same company, Seaplane Hong Kong, also recently announced that it would be the first operator to introduce passenger drones in Hong Kong, significantly reducing the commuting time across the sea.
It was mentioned earlier that the Civil Aviation Department and Maritime Department are discussing the project. The team has scheduled a meeting by the end of the month and will apply for the permit to fly afterwards.
The single-ride ticket price was expected to be as low as HKD200 per trip during the trial. The company’s founder and CEO Steven Cheung mentioned that the company is looking at an electric-powered UAV which is a size of a seven-seater, similar to an enlarged version of the aerial photography UAV. Each drone can fly faster than 100 km/h and has a range of about 30 to 50 kilometres, which works well with the company’s goal of urban mobility.
Cheung also revealed that the first passenger drones are expected to be delivered to Hong Kong this year. The manufacturer will assist in applying for a permit to fly and to obtain certification. However, the most significant challenge is the regulatory approval as Hong Kong does not have related regulations for commercial drone services. Charging facilities and airport services for drones must also be prepared. Cheung said that the company is confident that the government would support the project.
Seaplane Aviation publicly announced in January that it plans to start operating seaplane routes in the Hong Kong region.
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