With the eyes set on the future of urban air mobility, Hyundai Motor Group has partnered with Urban Air Port to launch the world’s first fully-operational hub – Air One – in Coventry, England, later this year. The Urban Air Port Air-One has been selected as a winner of the UK government’s Future Flight Challenge to develop aviation infrastructure and systems that enable the next generation of electric and autonomous air vehicles.
By winning this program, the Air-One project will unite the Hyundai Motor Group, Coventry City Council, the UK Government, and Urban Air Port with one goal – to demonstrate the potential of urban air mobility for the UK and worldwide.
The Air-One is an innovative hub for future electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft – such as air taxis and autonomous delivery drones – that will transport people and cargo across cities in the coming years.
Occupying 60% less space than a traditional helipad, it is possible to install an Urban Air Port in a matter of days, all without any carbon emissions. Capable of supporting any eVTOL and designed to complement other sustainable means of transport, these “mini-airports” have a modular design that allows them to be easily moved to alternative sites as the air-mobility sector develops. This design also means the sites are ideal for disaster emergency management.
The Hyundai Motor Group’s involvement in this whole project is in line with the South Korean company’s plans to create its own eVTOL aircraft and support the broader urban air mobility eco-system. According to the plans of the Hyundai, the goal is to commercialize its aircraft by 2028, which is one of the reasons behind its support for the development of the Air-One.
“Cars need roads. Trains need rails. Planes need airports. eVTOLs will need Urban Air Ports,” said Ricky Sandhu, Founder and Executive Chairman of Urban Air Port. “Over a hundred years ago, the world’s first commercial flight took off, creating the modern connected world. Urban Air Port will improve connectivity across our cities, boost productivity and help the UK to take the lead in a whole new clean global economy. Flying cars used to be a futuristic flight of fancy. Air-One will bring clean urban air transport to the masses and unleash a new airborne world of zero-emission mobility.“
After having secured financing for Air-One, Urban Air Port’s next objective is to attract more investors to accelerate the commercialization and dissemination of this “mini-airport.” The company plans to install more than 200 zero-emission sites worldwide over the next five years in response to global demand.