London-based builder of UAV and next-generation aircraft infrastructure Urban-Air Port is expanding its UK activity through a new project with the Leeds Bradford Airport to facilitate drone logistics and delivery services to the surrounding urban area.
Urban-Air Port (UAP) said the agreement calls for the creation of an off-grid, multi-functional operational area for drone logistics and delivery companies serving clients in Leeds, Bradford, and other nearby Yorkshire communities. In addition to expanding the airport’s traditional transportation offer to uncrewed aircraft, the partnership aims to prepare both efficient and sustainable UAV activity expected to develop in coming months and years.
UAP said its project with the Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) is to build develop an off-grid, hydrogen-powered infrastructure hub at the airport, with the primary aim of creating a platform for the piloting, charging, and loading of logistics and delivery drones. The facility will be used to enable safe and secure support of increasingly diverse UAV services to the Leeds City Region. The accord also covers creation storage and charging of vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
“This collaboration signifies an exciting development for the airport and highlights the ability of Yorkshire to lead on innovative infrastructure solutions,” said Charles Johnson, head of planning development for LBA. “It’s fantastic to see how aviation and its partner industries are developing new technologies that will be essential to our future. I am looking forward to seeing how the project develops, as we continue to act as a key hub for connectivity in the UK.”
The announcement of the LBA deal comes less than a month before UAP is scheduled to open its first functional vertiport dedicated to passenger air taxis and logistics drones in the UK Midlands city of Coventry. That facility – which was preceded by a demonstration module nearby – will be officially opened on 25 April, 2022.
In planning an off-grid drone platform with LBA, the company says it is taking its urban vertiport conception to a further level of sustainable development.
“In putting this agreement with LBA in place, we are getting ahead of the curve for the next wave of logistics and infrastructure,” said Ricky Sandhu, UAP chief executive. “We are looking forward to developing an ultra-compact, rapidly deployable, multi-functional operations hub with facilities for vehicles providing aircraft command and control, charging/refuelling, cargo, and passenger loading. This will result in a future with less vehicles on our road and more sustainable cities.”