World's first urban air mobility hub wins government backing

Daniel Fowler
February 1, 2021

We are already a city that is helping to shape the future of electric transport and this is yet another ground breaking project that puts Coventry at the forefront of new technologies.

Hyundai is planning to develop its own eVTOL and hopes to have commercialised a flying vehicle by 2028.

Despite being popularly referred to as "flying cars", EVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) vehicles are basically electric helicopters, not cars that will be driven on roads and then also flown. Hyundai Motor Group is supporting the development of Air-One as part of its plan to commercialize its aircraft by 2028.

A site near the Ricoh Arena has been chosen by Urban Air Port due to its location in the centre of the United Kingdom and its history with with automobile and aerospace industries.

An airport for flying cars will thrust the English city of Coventry into the future later this year, with a project aimed at demonstrating how air taxis will work in urban centres.

The physical footprint of an Urban Air Port is 60 per cent smaller than a traditional heliport (the most comparable existing infrastructure).

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The Urban Air Port Air-One has been selected as the victor of the government's Future Flight Challenge, a competition to develop aviation infrastructure for anticipated electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, such as cargo drones and air taxis. Using innovative construction, those behind the project say the sites can be installed in a matter of days, emit net zero carbon emissions and can be operated completely off-grid, meaning they do not always have to rely on a suitable grid connection. Air One will bring clean urban air transport to the masses and unleash a new airborne world of zero emission mobility, ' he said. The modular design and off-grid power supply enables the Urban Air Port to be built and dismantled quickly to suit changing market needs, or for them to be used to deploy humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

"That means we can scale our infrastructure [based on how the market develops]".

Gary Cutts, UK Research and Innovation Future Flight Challenge Director, said: "Urban Air Port has the potential to revolutionise cities across the world, making them more connected, cleaner and accelerating our green economic recovery".

Developers are hoping the new hub will be the first of up to 200 such sites to be built in cities across the world over the next five years.

After having secured financing for Air-One, Urban Air Port's next objective is to attract more investors to accelerate the commercialization and dissemination of this "mini-airport".

The project has received a £1.2 million government grant which has been matched by Hyundai, Sky News reports.

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