S. Korea to employ UAM vehicles for visitors during 2030 World Expo

SEOUL– South Korea will push to use urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles as an actual means of transportation during the 2030 World Expo if it hosts the event in the southeastern port city of Busan, the industry ministry said Monday.

The organizing committee signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SK Telecom Co., Hanwha Sytems Co., Tmap Mobility Co. and the Korea Airports Corp. that calls for cooperation on using next-generation vehicles to boost the convenience of visitors during the event, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

As an efficient aviation transportation system, a UAM uses highly automated aircraft for passengers or cargo transport at lower altitude within urban and suburban areas.

South Korea aims to operate the system in metropolitan areas in around 2025 so that those vehicles will be able to serve as useful tools during the upcoming event, the committee said.

“Convenient transport infrastructure in Busan will be one of the strong points of the (envisioned) 2030 Busan World Expo. The plan to use UAM vehicles will effectively present our advanced technologies and a strong willingness to make the event a chance to discuss global net-zero goals,” the committee’s Secretary General Yoon Sang-jick said.

To drum up international support, South Korea will send an economic delegation involving private companies to about 13 European countries starting this month, Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang said during a meeting meant to check the progress of the campaign.

Major South Korean business enterprises, including Samsung, SK and Hyundai, have joined hands with the government for the country’s bid.

The winner will be chosen by 170 member states of the Bureau International des Expositions during a general assembly scheduled for November. South Korea is competing with Italy, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia.

In September, South Korea submitted an official application to host the World Expo, through which it eyes to share its unique growth experience and develop international cooperation in overcoming various challenges facing the world together.

The World Expo is one of the largest international festivals besides the World Cup and the Olympics. Hosting an expo is estimated to create economic effects worth 61 trillion won (US$48.89 billion), according to the South Korean government.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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