Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer is launching a new financial assistance programme for the development and trialling of drones and air taxis. This was announced by the Minister at a network meeting at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Participants were local authorities, start-ups and aviation actors. The objective of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is to progress and support innovative aviation concepts and applications in Germany.
Federal Minister Scheuer:
Germany is a pioneering country in aviation. Drones and air taxis have long ceased to be science fiction. They are the takeoff into a new dimension of mobility and a major opportunity for local authorities, businesses and start-ups that are already pressing ahead with the development of these technologies in a very concrete and successful manner today. We want to take drones and air taxis out of the laboratory and up in the air - in the interest of Germany as a hub of innovation. To this end, we are launching a financial assistance programme, setting up a coordination body for drone test beds and will develop an action plan that pools the measures to strengthen innovative aviation applications.
The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure's financial assistance programme provides funding totalling 15 million euros and has a duration of four years. In addition, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure will this year support fast-track projects with up to 500,000 euros each and studies with up to 100,000 euros each.
See the enclosed funding guidelines for details.
The objective of the action plan, which will be developed by the Federal Ministry of Transport Digital Infrastructure over the next few months, is an overall strategy for clean, safe and efficient unmanned aviation.
Drones permit a fast and clean transport of parcels or vital medical supplies. Drones support the fire brigade, disaster control services, mountain rescue services and police forces in their operations and allow for the efficient inspection of infrastructure or traffic management. And as a new and innovative means of air transport, air taxis can firmly establish themselves for passenger transport in tomorrow’s mobility mix, offering a tremendous advantage, especially in rural areas.
The coordination body for drone test beds at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure will be the technical point of contact and a platform for the exchange of ideas and experience for drone pilot projects.
Five German regions have already joined the European Urban Air Mobility Initiative and will become pilot regions for innovative air mobility. Among them are Aachen, Hamburg, Ingolstadt, the region of Northern Hesse and the Enschede-Münster border region. They also participated in today’s network meeting.