U.K. Welcomes Drone Operations, Develops an Off-Grid, Hydrogen-Powered Aerial Hub in Leeds

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are the future of urban air mobility and British startup Urban-Air Port (UAP) wants to bring that future to us as soon as possible. The company has teamed up with U.K.’s Leeds Bradford Airport to develop an off-grid aerial vehicle hub.
Urban-Air Port to build an off-grid, hydrogen-powered aerial hub at the Leeds Bradford Airport 6 photos
Photo: Urban-Air Port
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It is no secret that the future of air transportation (of both cargo and passengers) is one based on air taxis and autonomous delivery drones. They are thought to reduce air pollution and congestion and eventually lead to a no-emission mobility ecosystem.

UAP specializes in new transport and logistics infrastructure and the recently announced hub will be right up its alley. It will be hydrogen-powered and will serve both unmanned and manned aircraft. As explained by UAP, the site at the Leeds Bradford Airport will provide a space for the command, charging, and loading of logistics drones, facilitating future drone deliveries in the area. VTOLs (vertical take-off and landing) could also be stored at the futuristic operations hub.

Described as ultra-compact, the hub will be rapidly deployable and multi-functional, offering facilities for vehicles providing aircraft command and control, charging, refueling, cargo, and passenger loading, as specified by UAP’s founder Ricky Sandhu.

We are yet to be informed when the two partners plan to finalize this bold and futuristic project, but we know that UAP has a busy schedule. It’s been less than two months since the British startup kicked off the construction of the U.K.’s first fully-operational hub for eVTOL aircraft. It is located in Coventry, which is not only in the heart of the country but it also has historical significance, being a historic hub for both the automobile and aerospace industry.

The facility is called Air One and its launch event is scheduled for this month, on April 25. And UAP doesn’t plan to stop here, announcing its plans to build 200 such vertiports all over the world, in over 65 cities. Hyundai’s Advanced Air Mobility division Supernal will support its endeavors.

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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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