World’s First Flying Taxi & Drone Airport to Open Later This Year
The first pop-up urban airport is set to open in Coventry later this year. The urban airport, called Air One, will feature flying taxis and drones. The urban airport is set to open-backed by government programs meant to find solutions for road congestion and pollution.
The transportation hub will be a zero-emission hub, located near the Ricoh Arena, in the north part of the city. The project has so far received £1.2 million in government grants. These have been matched by Hyundai. The hug is set to open in November, as part of the celebrations marking Coventry as the UK City of Culture.
The project has been developed by Urban AirPort, which is a London-based infrastructure-as-a-service company. The hub is to show how “flying cars” and cargo drones will integrate into the infrastructure they will be used in urban settings.
Many people are referring to flying taxis as “flying cars.” However, the vehicles will be EVTOL (electrical vertical take-off and landing vehicles, which are something like electric helicopters, rather than cars. These vehicles will not be driven on the street and then flown.
The idea is to use these lightweight vehicles as taxis for people. They could fly from skyscraper rooftops and land on hubs on the River Thames and elsewhere in the city. Ricky Sandhu, Urban Air Port’s chief executive, has said the term flying cars was misleading.
When it comes to infrastructure, Air One is one of three modular infrastructure designs, which also include Ground One and Water One. This means the infrastructure will include transportation coverage for air, water, and ground. Air One will allow various types of flying vehicles to dock and land.
The urban transport hub will provide space for charging, take-offs, and landing. The take-off platform will be elevated high enough to reduce noise levels, which is one of the regulatory hurdles for traditional heliports. The plan needs to be flexible and one that can be developed quickly.
One of the first vehicles to be tested in Coventry will be large cargo drones. These have been developed by Malloy Aeronautics, a British technology company. The trials will not include passenger flights.
Hyundai is spending $1.5 billion on developing several EVTOL vehicles and will be showing one of its development vehicles at the transportation hub.
Air One will also demonstrate passenger processing, which is provided by its infrastructure. This includes check-in to the lounge and boarding preparations.