CASA is gearing up to tackle a new challenge – the safety regulation of urban aerial ride sharing. Uber has announced Melbourne will be the first location outside the United States for aerial ride sharing trials in new electrically powered, vertical take-off aircraft. Test flights are due to start in the United States from 2020 and there are plans for commercial operations to commence from 2023. Uber says the aircraft will be much quieter than similarly sized helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, with every rotor having its own electric motor. Uber is in partnership with a number of experienced aircraft manufacturers to develop the new aircraft, including a subsidiary of Boeing, Pipistrel, Embraer and Bell. The aircraft will operate between hubs in the city, to be known as ‘skyports’. Uber's regional manager for Australia and New Zealand, Jodie Auster, said Melbourne was selected after an 18-month process because of its population, climate and economic viability. "Melbourne's congestion levels are on par with New York," she said. "This and the fact that the population is expected to double to more than eight million people by 2050 made Melbourne a viable test city." CASA has held a number of meetings with Uber to set out the relevant safety and regulatory requirements. CASA has a strong track record in working with innovative aviation technology, having in 2019 created a world-first by approving a commercial drone delivery system in Canberra.