The Air-One, first fully functioning vertiport opens in Coventry, UK: a prototype for advanced air mobility
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Images attributed to Lucy Ray, PA Wire: used with express permission and provided by Urban Air Port for editorial use only.
Today, Urban-Air Port is opening “Air-One”, the first ever showcase of a fully-operational hub for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles and autonomous cargo drones. With backing by the UK Government and support from Supernal, Urban-Air Port will operate Air-One, this first vertiport in Coventry, UK for a period of at least one month. Air-One will serve as a prototype for the more than 200 vertiports that Urban-Air Port is planning to launch worldwide over the course of the next five years. Air-One, and vertiports like it, seek to address the lack of ground infrastructure that serves as one of the main obstacles for the advancement of the growing advanced air mobility (AAM) market.
“The opening of Air-One is a momentous moment – the starting gun for 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 than ever before. Cars have roads. Trains have rails. Planes have airports. Now, eVTOLs have an Urban-Air Port,” said Urban-Air Port Founder and Executive Chairman Ricky Sandhu. “From design, through to fabrication and now into operation, Urban-Air Port has delivered Air-One in just 15 months, setting the standard for deployment globally and opening up a world of possibilities for rapid response air mobility. 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.”
Air-One will exhibit aircraft command and control, eVTOL charging, and cargo loading for unmanned drones, in addition to hosting demonstration flights. West Midlands Police and Skyfarer will demonstrate how Urban-Air Port’s vertiports can be deployed for “sky protection” and high-value cargo deliveries, while Malloy Aeronautics will carry out flights of large cargo drones. Air-One will additionally provide charging infrastructure for other modes of electric vehicles for the integration of low carbon transport. A series of public engagement events held at Air-One will form a part of Coventry’s City of Culture celebration.
“British innovation has a rich history of transforming global transportation, from the creation of the railroads in the 1800s, to the growth of great British brands such as Jaguar, Triumph and Rover in the 1950s,” said Robert Courts, Minister for Aviation. “The opening of Air-One, backed by Government funding, will revolutionise the way people and goods travel across the nation. This step forward puts Britain at the vanguard of clean transport, bringing investment and high-skilled, green job opportunities to the nation, while levelling up opportunity in the Midlands.”
Once its initial run in Coventry concludes, Urban-Air Port will bring Air-One to other locations, both across the UK and abroad, to hold a range of demonstrations in various environments and settings.
“Air-One serves as a valuable, tangible asset to helping build stakeholder confidence and trust in emerging mobility technology and supporting systems,” said Supernal CCO Mike Whitaker. “The Coventry demonstration is an important first step forward to reimagining how people across the world will move, connect and live. Developing a scalable system to support advanced air mobility operations requires collaboration from all industries and corners of the world. Supernal’s support of Urban-Air Port reinforces our belief in fusing technology and innovation to enable humanity and society to reach new levels of potential.”
Designed with a focus on flexibility, Urban-Air Port’s vertiports serve four different markets: passenger air taxis, autonomous delivery drones, disaster emergency management and defense operations and logistics. The vertiports are able to be deployed rapidly, enabling drones and other eVTOL aircrafts to operate in emergency and disaster situations, and are fully operable off-grid via the use of on-site hydrogen fuel cell, zero-emission generation.
Urban-Air Port will operate as an infrastructure-as-a-service model, allowing customers to select the level of service they desire, ranging from purchasing Urban-Air Port infrastructure on its own to a full-service offering featuring site-specific design development and ongoing operations and maintenance for their ground, air and digital infrastructure solutions.
Read more about Supernal:
- Urban-Air Port Funded by Hyundais Supernal: Integrating AAM into Transit Networks
- Hyundai Launches New Company to Advance Urban Air Mobility: Supernal
Read more about Vertiports:
- ConOps for eVTOL Operations: Wisk Aero and Skyports Detail Integration with Vertiports
- What Does Urban Air Mobility Need to Thrive? Vertiport Automation; An Op Ed by ANRA Technologies; Brent Klavon
- Air Taxis, Vertiports, and More: City of Orlando Leading the U.S. Towards Advanced Air Mobility
Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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