The specialist UK vertiport startup Urban-Air Port has announced a project to create hundreds of hubs for electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (eVTOL) around the world over the next five years, fueled by a significant equity stake by Hyundai’s advanced air mobility (AAM) division Supernal.
London-based Urban-Air Port (UAP) this week said it plans to set up 200 vertiports for eVTOL air taxi and cargo craft in 65 international cities to prepare for the rapidly approaching launch of those and other AAM services. Many of those facilities will be based on UAP’s modular terminals like the demonstration unit it has showcased in the West Midlands city of Coventry. The company currently has models designed for installation on rooftops, beside waterways, on plots of land, and has a hyper-urban City Box version under development.
The entry of Supernal as a direct, minority shareholder is a logical evolution for both partners.
Hyundai has been one of the private sector companies joining UK public bodies to support UAP’s work to create compact, efficient, and affordable infrastructure for eVTOL air taxis, and delivery and cargo drones. Last September the pair took their cooperation farther with a deal to build AAM vertiports in 65 cities in the UK, US, Germany, France, Scandinavia, Australia, South Korea, and certain Asian markets.
Two months later, Hyundai created Supernal as the spearhead for the group’s $1.5 billion eVTOL development activity, which is expected to bring its first AAM vehicles to market in 2028. Supernal’s stake in UAP solidifies the links between the groups, and places the drive to create vertiport infrastructure on equal footing with the production of next-generation aircraft that will need them.
“Cars need roads. Trains need rails. Planes need airports. eVTOLs need Urban-Air Ports,” said Ricky Sandhu, UAP executive chairman. “Despite the unparalleled potential of eVTOL aircraft to revolutionize mobility, the importance of the ground infrastructure that enables them is too often overlooked. With Supernal’s investment and expertise and connection to Hyundai Motor Group, we can supercharge the rollout of sustainable, intermodal, and scalable ground infrastructure that will unleash the future of advanced air mobility globally.”
The first new UAP vertiport expected for completion will be a second eVTOL hub in Coventry, slated for opening in April. Awaiting certification of AAM craft and the launch of air taxi and drone cargo services, both facilities in the city will be used to educate people in government, business, and the public on how those carbon-free vehicles will operate once in service.
According to figures in UAP’s release on the deal, the world urban air mobility market is expected to $12.7 billion by 2027, and up to $1 trillion over the next two decades – provided both craft and infrastructure exist to meet anticipated demand.
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