The world’s first airport for flying cars and drones has just landed 

The UK has just opened the world’s first urban airport.

The world’s first airport for electric drones and flying cars just opened in the centre of a city in the UK. If it’s a success, it will be the blueprint for hundreds more around the world.

The pop-up Air-One has been built in the city of Coventry. It’s designed for zero-emission electric drones and air taxis and the airport itself is powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

An aerial view of an urban airport
Ready for take-off: the UK just opened the first airport for electric planes and drones. (Image: Urban Air-Port)

The project is the result of a partnership between Coventry City Council and UK start-up Urban-Air Port Ltd to demonstrate the potential of urban air mobility to cut congestion and air pollution.

Hyundai’s air mobility arm has even sent along a full-size model of its SA-1 air taxi which will be on show at the airport. Urban-Air Port says that the lack of suitable infrastructure is one of the biggest obstacles to the development of electric vertical take off (eVTOL) aircraft.

A pop-up airport

Air-One is designed to be fully autonomous and to integrate with electric vehicles to create a completely sustainable public transport network. It’s also easy to build. The whole project in Coventry took just 15 months from planning to completion.

A view of a drone at an urban airport
Air-One will be dismantled later this year and toured around the UK. (Image: Hyundai)

Describing the opening as a momentous moment, Ricky Sandhu, founder of Urban-Air Port, said it was the start of “a new age of transport, an age of zero-emission, congestion-free travel between and within cities that will make people healthier, happier and more connected.”

The future of urban transport

Researchers say the market for advanced air mobility could reach $12.4 billion worldwide by 2027.

Air-One will be open to the public throughout summer 2022 and then Urban-Air Port plans to dismantle it and move it to other sites in the UK so that more people can see the concept in action. While the Coventry site is open there will be demonstration flights by police and freight drones.

Sandhu plans to open more than 200 “vertiports” worldwide, with planning already under way at sites in London, Los Angeles, Australia, South Korea, France, Germany, Scandinavia and South East Asia.

“Cars have roads. Trains have rails. Planes have airports. Now, eVTOLs have an Urban-Air Port,” he said.

Republished with permission of the World Economic Forum under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Related
Astronomers detect “mystery molecule” in exoplanet’s atmosphere
Thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope, we now know more about the atmosphere of WASP-39b, a distant gas giant, than any other exoplanet.
New ultra-thin solar cells could be the future of space power
Ultra-thin solar cells could extend the operational lifetimes of satellites while also making missions less costly and more efficient.
Australia’s first rocket set to launch in 2023
Gilmour Space expects to launch its first rocket in 2023, which will add Australia to the short list of nations to send rockets to space.
Construction juggernaut unveils huge electric mining truck
Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar has demonstrated its first battery-electric large mining truck.
Kid-friendly superblocks are a way for residents to reclaim their streets
A superblock covers several neighbourhood blocks reserved for shared use by cyclists, walkers, and residents.
Up Next
astronaut training
Subscribe to Freethink for more great stories