A partnership between UK startup Urban-Air Port and Hyundai will result in the creation of 65 electric airports for cleaner urban air travel.
Transport is one of the biggest polluters but is essential for logistics, work, and leisure. While consumers and businesses are increasingly converting to electric ground vehicles, air travel remains a carbon-intensive industry.
Urban-Air Port is among the leading innovators working to develop the infrastructure required to launch and manage electric aircraft including VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicles for carrying passengers, and drones for carrying goods, emergency supplies, or carrying out critical work such as surveying disasters.
The partnership between Urban-Air Port and Hyundai to build 65 airports in “key locations” across the US, UK, EU, and Asia Pacific is part of the former’s broader plan to build 200 electric airports over the next five years.
Pamela Cohn, Chief Operating Officer and US General Manager for the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group, said:
“Urban Air Mobility will be integral to how we get from A to B this century. Hyundai Motor Group has a bold vision for future mobility and is committed to making the human and technological investments needed to usher in a new era of transport.
Urban-Air Port is key to opening up safe, affordable, zero-emission mobility, which will take urban air mobility from science fiction to tangible reality.”
It’s certainly a bold plan, but the industry is witnessing an explosion in both private and public investment. Just look at how much investment has increased this year:
Ricky Sandhu, Founder and Executive Chairman of Urban-Air Port, commented:
“The sector is soaring and we know that a future with electric flying vehicles and drones in cities is going to be a reality soon. But it can’t happen if we don’t have the infrastructure on the ground and in the air to make it happen.
Urban-Air Port will change the way we travel forever – unlocking clean urban air transport for everyone, improving connectivity in congested cities, cutting pollution and boosting productivity.”
Beyond air travel, the new airports are designed to be hubs for all sustainable transport—including on-site charging for, and integration with, a variety of electric ground vehicles. This will enable cargo and passengers to be seamlessly loaded and unloaded to improve the decarbonisation of cities.
In the UK, Urban-Air Port is backed by the government as part of its pursuit to become a net-zero economy by 2050.
“The government-backed Urban-Air Port heralds a new, convenient, and sustainable way to travel within the UK, improving connectivity between cities whilst helping us to build back greener,” explained Paul Cully, Minister for Aerospace.
“Making sure that the infrastructure exists for these new modes of transport is key to making zero-emission urban flight an everyday reality.”
The UK will host the COP26 UN Climate Change in Glasgow, Scotland between 31 October and 12 November 2021. The topic for 10 November is transport and, specifically, how to “drive the global transition to zero emission transport.”
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