Urban Air Port Limited announced on 27th January 2021 that Urban Air Port Air-One has been selected as a winner of the UK government’s Future Flight Challenge in developing aviation infrastructure and systems for electric and autonomous air vehicles. Air-One is the world’s first fully operational urban airport charging hub for future electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. It is scheduled to be open in Coventry later this year.
Urban Air Port has been awarded a £1.2 million grant from Innovate UK’s Future Flight Challenge. The programme is funded by £125 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and is expected to be matched by up to £175 million from industry.
Founder and Executive Chairman of Urban Air Port, Ricky Sandhu said:
“Cars need roads. Trains need rails. Planes need airports. eVTOLs will need Urban Air Ports. 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.”
Hyundai Motor Group is supporting the development of Air-One as part of its plan to commercialise its aircraft by 2028. Urban Air Port has been chosen as a priority infrastructure partner of Hyundai Motor Group in order to support the global growth of this new sector. The South Korean company plans to create its own eVTOL aircraft and support the broader urban air mobility eco-system.
Pamela Cohn, Chief Operating Officer for the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group, said:
“As we advance our eVTOL aircraft programme, development of supporting infrastructure is imperative. Air-One is a unique project that is set to help lead the way in developing a robust, accessible and intermodal infrastructure network for future mobility. We are excited to be part of this partnership in the UK, and look forward to working together to create community impact and opportunity through safe, affordable, and human-centred mobility solutions.”
According to Urban Air Port, Coventry is chosen as the first site due to its important location, as it provides easy access within four hours to most parts of the country. It is also a historic hub for the automobile and aerospace industry.
Air-One will be unveiled during Coventry’s UK city of culture celebrations in 2021 and continue to form part of the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
To further promote this technology to the public, the Air-One site in Coventry will showcase live demonstrations of remote aircraft command and control, charging / refuelling and cargo and passenger loading for manned and unmanned eVTOL aircraft operating in three key markets: passenger air taxi services, autonomous logistics and disaster emergency management.
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, said:
“We are already a city that is helping to shape the future of electric transport and this is yet another ground breaking project that puts Coventry at the forefront of new technologies. It highlights how the council is working alongside a range of organisations to help shape a better, greener future.”
Credit: Urban Air Port Limited