Test flight for flying vehicle not authorised, say CAAM

By THE STAR | 21 November 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) clarified it did not authorise a test flight for a "flying car" or drone of model UAS E-Hang 216 (EH216) scheduled for today.

CAAM said that the location of the planned test flight at the UniKL Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology (MIAT) Hangar Subang was in an area that was under supervision by Air Traffic Control.

“The location is less than 200 metres away from commercial airline and helicopter traffic and clearly within the Subang Airport Terminal Control Zone.

“In addition to this, the EH216 was only issued a Special Flight Permit (SFP) by its State of Design (Civil Aviation Administration of China), which is limited to conduct research and development flights in Grand World Science Park in Guangzhou,” CAAM said in a statement on Wednesday.

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CAAM further added that it is investigating an earlier unauthorised demonstration flight involving an EH216 on Nov 15 at the same area in Subang airport.

“As much as CAAM supports the development of the aerospace industry in Malaysia, test and demonstration flights must be carried out in accordance with the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulation 2016 to ensure safety.

“CAAM would also like to state that we are open to consider the request for a test flight of the EH216 at an appropriate location, and with the support of the aircraft’s State of Design,” it said.

A Berita Harian report on Tuesday claimed that the flying vehicle is based on the EH216 and would be marketed as Super Dron in Malaysia.

The EH216 is technically an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle that is big enough to carry two passengers. It cannot transform itself into a road-going car like the Terrafugia, a US-made craft that was acquired by China car maker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2017. Geely is also a strategic partner in Proton.