And an Indian-origin entrepreneur is the brain behind it
The UK is getting its first mini-airport or vertiport open for demonstrations. The opening of the vertiport is being celebrated by an Indian-origin entrepreneur, as the “fire of the starting gun” for futuristic transportation. Air-One is the UK’s first mini-airport in Coventry, which will be open to the public for demonstrations until the middle of May.
Ricky Sandhu, Founder and Executive Chairman of Urban-Air Port, said the opening of Air-One in Coventry, central England, is momentous for Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles such as air taxis and autonomous cargo drones. Air-One is expected to provide a blueprint for more than 200 vertiports planned worldwide by Urban-Air Port over the next five years.
“The opening of Air-One is 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,” said Sandhu.
“Cars have roads. Trains have rails. Planes have airports. Now, eVTOLs have an Urban-Air Port. 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,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Urban-Air Port is backed by the UK government and supported by Hyundai’s Supernal, a US-based smart vehicles service provider.
Air-One is designed to demonstrate how purpose-built ground infrastructure can unleash the potential of advanced air mobility (AAM) to decarbonise transport and cut air pollution and congestion whilst providing seamless passenger journeys and deliveries.
“The opening of Air-One, backed by government funding, will revolutionize 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 opportunities in the Midlands,” said Robert Courts, UK Minister for Aviation.
Urban-Air Port said it is accelerating its plan to develop 200 similar ‘vertiports’ worldwide, and the company’s order book for additional sites is growing, with vertiports already planned in the UK in the West Midlands and London, and internationally in the United States (Los Angeles), Australia, South Korea, France, Germany, Scandinavia, and southeast Asia.