The Future Flight Challenge was created to develop aviation infrastructure and systems that enable the next generation of electric and autonomous air vehicles. Air-One is a world-first fully-operational hub for future electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft—such as cargo drones and air taxis—to be launched in Coventry (UK) later this year.
Urban Air Port develops fully autonomous innovative zero emission infrastructure for future air mobility. The ambitious Air-One project will bring industry, government and the public together to demonstrate how to unlock the potential of sustainable urban air mobility to reduce congestion, cut air pollution and holistically decarbonize transport while providing seamless passenger journeys and deliveries.
NASA predicts that urban-air mobility in the US alone could be worth up to US$500 billion in the near-term and states that a significant barrier to market growth is the lack of infrastructure—an issue which Urban Air Port was established to resolve.
The Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group has chosen Urban Air Port as its priority infrastructure partner 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. Hyundai Motor Group is supporting the development of Air-One as part of its plan to commercialisze its aircraft by 2028.
The physical footprint of an Urban Air Port is 60% smaller than a traditional heliport (the most comparable existing infrastructure). Using innovative construction, the sites can be installed in a matter of days, emit net zero carbon emissions and can be operated completely off-grid, meaning they do not always have to rely on a suitable grid connection.
Urban Air Port provides an integrated approach to the decarbonization of cities. It is designed to support any eVTOL aircraft and complements other modes of sustainable transport as a hub for electric vehicles, buses or scooters. The design enables Urban Air Ports 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. Urban Air Ports can rapidly deploy drones and other eVTOL to collect and transport emergency supplies, equipment and people where needed.
The company plans to develop more than 200 sites in the next five years to meet global demand. Cities across the UK and many more globally have already expressed an interest in installing an Urban Air Port. Having secured funding for Air-One, Urban Air Port is now in discussions with investors to support its rapid commercialization and global growth.
Malloy Aeronautics, a leading UK-based drone developer, logistics and engineering company, is Urban Air Port’s UK drone aircraft partner. The company’s large cargo drones will be demonstrated at the Air-One site.
Urban Air Port has been awarded a £1.2-million grant from UK Research and Innovation’s Future Flight Challenge. The program is funded by £125 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and is expected to be matched by up to £175 million from industry.