China Grants First Production Certificate for Passenger eVTOL Aircraft

EHang's EH216-S Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Cleared for Mass Production

Chinese drone maker Holdings Limited has obtained the first production certificate in China for a passenger-carrying autonomous aerial vehicle, the EH216-S. This milestone marks a significant step forward for the global electric vertical takeoff and landing () industry and 's rapidly growing “low-altitude economy.”

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued the production certificate to EHang on Sunday in Guangzhou, following the EH216-S's earlier receipt of the type certificate and standard airworthiness certificate, reports SCMP. This approval allows EHang to begin mass production of the autonomous , paving the way for commercial operations.

Hu Huazhi, founder, chairman and CEO of EHang, emphasized the importance of this achievement, stating, “Obtaining the production certificate is an important milestone for the EH216-S to enter the mass production stage, as well as a necessary step for Ehang to advance commercial operations.”

China's Booming Low-Altitude Economy

The EH216-S's certification comes amidst China's push to bolster its “low-altitude economy,” which encompasses industries related to low-altitude vehicles such as drones. The Chinese government has listed this sector as a strategic emerging industry, recognizing its vast potential for economic growth and technological advancement.

According to CAAC statistics, China's low-altitude economy exceeded 500 billion yuan ($70.47 billion) in 2023 and is projected to reach 2 trillion yuan by 2030. The government has pledged to improve support services for low-altitude flight activities, including plan approval, air traffic management, meteorological services, communication, and surveillance.

EH216-S Specifications and Deliveries

The EH216-S reportedly boasts impressive specifications, with a maximum design speed of 130 km per hour, a maximum range of 30 km, and a maximum flight time of 25 minutes. In 2023, EHang delivered a total of 52 EH216-S aircraft, demonstrating the growing demand for this innovative technology.

As China continues to refine its airworthiness certification system for unmanned aircraft and coordinate supportive policies, the low-altitude economy is poised for significant growth. The EH216-S's production certificate marks a crucial step in realizing the potential of autonomous passenger drones and the broader eVTOL industry, both in China and globally.


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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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