The Air-Taxi facility is expected to open in autumn 2021, and is a result of the collaboration between UK government agencies, private-sector businesses and the aviation industry. Specifically designed for electric flying vehicles it has been developed by Urban Air Port, with involvement of Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group and Coventry City Council.
The Coventry airport is being constructed as a proof-of-concept for a zero-emissions hub for future modes of transportation. Electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles are being introduced as a low-carbon way to alleviate traffic congestion in the urban areas. The market for electric air-taxis is predicted to be worth $500 billion in the US alone according to NASA Technical Report from 2018.
“Cars need roads. Trains need rails. Planes need airports. eVTOLs will need Urban Air Ports. Flying cars used to be a futuristic flight of fancy. Air-One will bring clean urban air transport to the masses and unleash a new airborne world of zero emission mobility”, Ricky Sandhu, Executive Chairman of Urban Air Port.
eVTOL aircraft are “quieter, lighter, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than helicopters”. Such aerial vehicles would allow people to travel short distances across cities, while relieving pressure on existing, congested transportation links. “The physical footprint of an Urban Air Port is 60% smaller than a traditional heliport (the most comparable existing infrastructure). Using innovative construction, the sites can be installed in a matter of days, emit net-zero carbon emissions and can be operated completely off-grid”, says Hyundai’s statement.
Though there are no flying cars yet in the UK the facility is expected to attract the interest especially from logistic companies. The use of airborne drones to deliver cargo parcels, medical supplies and goods has been neglected so far, due to operation challenges in densely populated areas. But the technology could prove useful as a way of goods and people transportation to solve the traffic needs and minimize the carbon foot-print.