UK Air Mobility Startup Plans To Build 200 Vertiports in the Next Five Years

Electric air taxis are coming, but are we ready for regular commercial operations? Infrastructure-wise, the answer wouldn't be a positive one. Companies like Urban-Air Port, headquartered in Britain, are working with industry partners to change things and pave the way for emission-free air taxi services.
Urban-Air Port wants to build 200 vertiports worldwide in five years 7 photos
Photo: Urban-Air Port
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If you had to remember just one name related to AAM (advanced air mobility) infrastructure, it should be Urban-Air Port. In April 2022, it unveiled the first fully-operational vertiport for drones and eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing) in the world. For three weeks, more than 15,000 people got to admire up close this impressive facility in Coventry, UK, with more than 100 drone flight demonstrations.

Air One was the name of this truly spectacular demonstrator that showed us a glimpse into the future of air mobility in urban centers. The British startup completed this industry first with support from the UK Government's Future Flight Challenge program and together with its strategic partner, Supernal. Supernal is Hyundai Motor Group's air mobility division, which also provided a full-scale prototype of its S-A1 eVTOL for the Air One event.

The Air One is a complex facility that integrates much more than dedicated areas for aircraft take-off and landing. It includes a control and command hub and special equipment for air taxi charging and drone cargo loading. Passengers also have access to a non-aeronautical section. The one showcased at the official unveiling included a fully-working café, shops, and vending machines. Air One was designed in record time (just 15 months), and the demonstrator's construction took just 11 weeks.

What differentiates Urban-Air Port from other AAM infrastructure developers is the modular, ultra-compact design of its vertiport platform. The Air One concept can be easily adapted for round-based locations, maritime environments, and rooftops. Plus, the company developed a separate concept called Resilience One for DEMS (Disaster, Emergency Management & Security) operations. This futuristic vertiport for special missions is rapidly deployable, entirely off-grid, and customizable.

Although Supernal remains the British startup's main partner, Urban-Air Port is working with various industry players to advance its technology. The most recent one is Egis, an infrastructure specialist that has operated 20 airports worldwide.

The two are planning to develop and build intermodal transport hubs that are also sustainable and powered exclusively by renewable energy. These mobility networks will complement, not replace, existing infrastructure and will also encourage other green means of transportation and last-mile delivery.

Urban-Air Port isn't playing small. It wants to build its first 200 vertiports all over the world over five years from now. South Korea will likely be the first country to benefit from this innovative vertiport technology thanks to the startup’s close connection to Supernal and other local aviation companies.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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