The world's first urban airport that will allow 'flying taxis' to take off and land in the busy areas of cities has opened up in the U.K., World Economic Forum (WEF) reported.
While engineers and designers are working on vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft to make them feasible for rapid urban transport, the U.K.-based startup Urban-Air Port Ltd (UAP) is working to demonstrate that the infrastructure needed to make these urban aerial transport centers an operational reality is not as complicated as it may seem. Last year, we reported that an eVTOL maker was also getting involved in building these airports to solve the infrastructure hurdle.
Now, UAP's first pop-up airport, dubbed Air One, was completed in 15 months, including the planning and building of the airport.
What can you expect at Air One?
A three-hour drive away from the busy streets of London, Air-One has been set up in Coventry, a city that gave us the inventor of the jet engine and the Jaguar brand of cars. The project is a partnership between the Coventry City Council and Urban Air-Port to demonstrate how urban air mobility can reduce air pollution and congestion on the roads.
Powered by hydrogen fuel cells, Air One is designed to be fully autonomous and integrates with electric vehicles to deliver a zero-emission urban public transport system. The airport can handle electric drones and air taxis and has collaborated with Hyundai's air mobility arm, Supernal, to use a full-sized model of their SA-1 air taxi as a demonstrator.
At the airport, one can witness all the elements of urban mobility such as passenger taxi processing, command and control center, logistics, charging infrastructure as well as disaster management and security services. One can also experience live-flight demonstrations with drones that will also see the local police participate in operational scenarios, Air One's website reads.
What's in the future?
Air One has an address in Coventry but only till the 15th of May. After that, the company plans to wrap up the airport and then set it up again at other sites in the U.K. to take the experience closer to people.
As the eVTOL market shapes up, Urban Airport plans to set up its urban airports at more than 200 locations worldwide with planning for airports in the busy cities of London, Los Angeles as well in countries such as Germany, France, South Korea, and Australia.
Now, we can't wait for the eVTOL technology to catch up.