Urban-Air Port, the London-based developer of vertiports for delivery drones and electronic takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles like air taxis, has opened the doors of its first functional aerial hub – one of 200 terminals it plans to build around the globe in the near future.
A little over two months after it began work on its modular Air-One eVTOL platform, Urban-Air Port officially opened the facility in the Midlands city of Coventry Monday, calling the inauguration the “starting gun for a new age of transport” of goods and people. Unlike a demonstration and educational drone hub in Coventry it has opened to the public since last year, the newly christened Air-One vertiport is fully operational, and just waiting for next generation craft, operators, and passengers to get to work.
Awaiting those, Urban-Air Port will open the hub to visitors for a look at what future urban air travel will be like (complete with screens listing departing flights and destinations it expects to host). The facility includes off-grid hydrogen eVTOL vehicle charging stations; an elevated takeoff and landing platform; security checks and passenger waiting zones; a cargo drone area; and spaces for its host of retail brand partners.
“From design, through to fabrication and now into operation, Urban-Air Port… (is) setting the standard for deployment globally and opening up a world of possibilities for rapid response air mobility,” said company executive chairman Ricky Sandhu. “Air-One is just the first model in our infrastructure fleet and our order-book is not only open but already growing. The interest is turning into recognition of the need for our technology and into demand.”
Also on display is a prototype of an S-A1 eVTOL air taxi plane from Supernal, Hyundai’s advanced air mobility unit, which is charging hard to fulfill the South Korean group’s plans to be a major player in future aerial transport. It is targeting 2024 for craft certification in the US, and in the meantime has become a major partner with Urban-Air Port to prepare ground infrastructure for eVTOL vehicles.
Last month Urban-Air Port announced plans to build 200 vertiports for eVTOL air taxi and cargo craft in 65 international cities in the US, Australia, South Korea, France, Germany, Scandinavia, and South East Asia, with backing by Supernal.
Urban-Air Port currently has modular eVTOL vertiport designs for installation on rooftops, beside waterways, and within municipal environments like the Air-One version. It also has a hyper-urban City Box variation under development.
On Tuesday the company announced it had received “a major equity investment” from the founders of European logistics group M7, a day after it said Canadian aerospace, logistics, cybersecurity, and risk management firm Dymond Group had both injected capital and ordered construction of two Air-One vertiports.