“Cars need roads. Trains need rails. Planes need airports. eVTOLs will need Urban Air Ports”
From electric vehicles to flying taxis, this decade offered some of the most ingenious as well as bizarre creations. But as quickly as the demand for these aircraft started, there was another major issue which was the need for landing and taking off ports. To speed up the process of building air taxi infrastructure, the urban air mobility (UAM) division of Hyundai in collaboration with a UK startup called Urban-Air Port has decided to build and launch the world’s first fully operational urban airport or vertiport. The vertiport named as Air-One is set to open in 2021.
As stated by the company, Air-One would be “the first of more than 200 sites being developed in the next five years to meet global demand.” It is predicted that the eVTOL industry will hit $1 trillion in the next 20 years but only about 3% of the investment is being used for building the proper air taxi infrastructure. Even NASA experts have warned about the shortage of infrastructure as one of the biggest obstacles to urban air mobility.
Ricky Sandhu, founder and executive chairman of Urban-Air Port talked about the significance of the collaboration with the South Korean automaker, Hyundai and said in a statement, “The deal with the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group is a massive step towards our vision of installing hundreds of urban-air ports worldwide to maintain our position at the forefront of this sector and support the rapid expansion of urban air mobility in this decade.“
This new venture requires a huge infrastructure build-up before we start seeing eVTOL aircraft as a mainstream form of transport. Air-One would serve both eVTOLS as well as drones by facilitating the transport of cargo and people across different cities. It will help reduce congestion and even on-ground traffic in the future.