Munich Airport and Urban-Air Port are to jointly develop eVTOL ground infrastructure and airport operations for electric air taxis.
The air taxis are expected to be operational by the middle of the decade, according to the partners.
Commercial drone port specialist Urban-Air Port is currently deploying its “Air One” programme – a fully operational and integrated airport for drones and eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) that interlinks air mobility with ground transportation in a multimodal hub. Air One will be located in a downtown setting and will be revealed to the industry and the general public in Coventry, United Kingdom in Spring 2022. The goal is to demonstrate an ultra-compact, rapidly deployable, multi-functional operations hub for manned and unmanned vehicles providing aircraft command and control, charging and refuelling, cargo and passenger loading and other associated services.
The collaboration will see Munich Airport bring both its aviation and non-aviation expertise to the planning, development and operation of Air One, creating critical synergies for the successful introduction and operation of urban-air ports.
“The aviation industry is constantly evolving. While Urban Air Mobility was a vague vision just a few years ago, this trend is within reach today. We see great potential in this new mode of transportation and have developed an advanced air mobility programme to actively shape the future,” said Ralf Gaffal, Munich Airport’s managing director. “Partnering with Urban-Air Port enables us to join forces in designing, implementing and operating scalable and sustainable urban-air ports around the world.”
In addition to the Air One programme, the partners will collaborate on longer term projects and opportunities, with an initial focus on use cases and markets which are expected to emerge in the next couple of years.
“This collaboration with Munich Airport allows us to jointly develop our expertise in airport development and operations. Moreover, we can lay the foundations for a globally integrated urban air transport network,” said Ricky Sandhu, Urban-Air Port founder and executive chairman. "Together, we are striving to play a major role in shaping the future of urban air mobility and to equip and adapt the aviation industry to meet the needs of the coming decades.”