Front End spearheads the historic air taxi trial in Mecca

Leading technology provider Front End has introduced an innovative and historic air taxi trial in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Front End, a leader in integrating advanced technology across sectors, is proud to announce that the company has enabled a successful demonstration of the first unmanned air taxi trial in Mecca. Front End were supported by its partner EHang, a leading urban air mobility (UAM) technology platform company.

Front End is committed to bringing the latest technology to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, appreciating EHang’s guidance in the adoption of urban air mobility, together with the leadership of General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), collaborating with the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services, the Ministry of Hajj, the Ministry of Interior, marking a prominent step towards a faster, more sustainable Hajj.

The collaboration has unlocked an innovative solution, showcasing the potential of government-private partnerships.

His Excellency Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, President of GACA said: “The trial marks a major advancement in integrating Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) solutions into Saudi Arabia’s aviation landscape. We are committed to the highest safety standards and seamless integration into existing air traffic systems. This trial acts as a proof of concept for multiple use cases and contributes to various AAM roadmap initiatives. We appreciate the instrumental support of Front End and EHang to mark this historic milestone for Saudi Arabia.

The annual Hajj pilgrimage, a monumental gathering of diverse nationalities, presents unique logistical challenges. This innovative demonstration aims to streamline transportation during this sacred event, by efficiently moving pilgrims faster between key locations, ensuring a smoother and safer Hajj experience.

Commenting on the demonstration, Mr. Majid Alghaslan, Chairman and CEO of Front End Limited Company, said: “Front End is at the forefront of this trailblazing trial, paving the way to a new era in smart mobility solutions, potentially revolutionising Hajj transportation. Aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, our purpose is to foster a ‘Connected Kingdom,’ serving as a gateway for our partners to access growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia and the wider region. This achievement stands as a testament to the power of government-private partnerships in accelerating new technology adoption. Partnering with EHang made this pioneering solution a reality.”

Conducted in a low-risk area within protected airspace, the trial will help assist authorities in setting the right regulatory environment for the deployment of eVTOL aircraft which will redefine the Hajj experience by enhancing mobility, reducing congestion, and promoting sustainability.

“These eco-friendly marvels offer a cost-effective solution for urban transportation, tackling congestion while aligning perfectly with the Kingdom’s goals for a sustainable future. This advancement underscores Front End’s dedication to national progress and its commitment to shaping a greener, more efficient tomorrow in mobility”, Majid added.

Mr. Huazhi Hu, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of EHang, stated, “This debut flight of the EH216-S pilotless eVTOL in Saudi Arabia marks a significant milestone in EHang’s ongoing internationalisation and an important step forward in propelling global advanced UAM reform, showcasing the potential of our pilotless eVTOL products and solutions for widespread adoption in the Middle Eastern market. Looking ahead, with the strong support of GACA and in partnership with Front End, we will work together to establish a benchmark for regular AAM operations in Saudi Arabia, driving progress in both regional and global AAM markets.”

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