Compiled by the editorial staff of eVTOL.com


Video: The Urban-Air Port that caught Hyundai’s eye

As eVTOL programs advance, more attention is being paid to the infrastructure that will support these novel aircraft. Notwithstanding Uber’s grand visions for multi-story “Skyports,” a growing number of urban air mobility (UAM) players are exploring more modest and versatile vertiport designs. Lilium, for example, recently eschewed visions that “wouldn’t be out of place in a sci-fi movie” in favor of lean, modular vertiports that could enable rapid scaling of a regional air mobility network.

At last year’s Global Urban Air Summit in Farnborough, UK, eVTOL.com caught up with Ricky Sandhu, the founder and CEO of small. | Six Miles Across London and Urban-Air Port Ltd. An architect who spent over 15 years with Foster + Partners before striking out on his own, Sandhu was one of the first people to present a fully realized vision for a compact, rapidly deployable eVTOL vertiport. Sandhu’s Urban-Air Port has a lightweight, modular, flat-pack structure, making it suitable not only for space-constrained urban environments, but also for rural communities where eVTOL aircraft could “leapfrog” the need for costly investments in highways and rail lines.

Recently, Urban-Air Port and Hyundai announced a partnership to explore “new, purpose-built, multi-functional, and scalable infrastructure to enable UAM.” Hyundai plans to invest $1.5 billion over the next five years to create an air vehicle and the supporting mobility ecosystem for UAM operations, and infrastructure is a key part of that. According to Hyundai Air Mobility chief operating officer Pamela Cohn, “There is often a strong focus on the vehicles, but without coordination and investment in other parts of the ecosystem, UAM is just a flying science project. Infrastructure is one of the crucial areas of the broader ecosystem that will bring aerial mobility to communities around the world.”

Urban-Air Port eVTOL vertiport
The Urban-Air Port design has a 60% smaller footprint than a traditional heliport or comparable vertiports, intended to facilitate quick and easy installation across a variety of sites. Urban-Air Port Image

Hyundai Air Mobility and Urban-Air Port said they plan to invest in development of a full-scale prototype for live eVTOL demonstrations. Two cities in the UK have reportedly already signed on to support development in 2021, including Coventry in the West Midlands, which will host UK City of Culture 2021 and the Commonwealth Games.

According to a press release, “Hyundai’s and Urban-Air Port’s goals in this partnership are fully aligned — transforming cities for the better by creating a versatile infrastructure that enables future mobility, vitalizes urban communities, and expands access to transportation services and the green economy.”

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  1. I’ve been waiting for one of these the pop up this is the best thing I have seen yet of moving forward into our height technology world. I hope very soon that all the ports airports if you will will soon be modified just like this one shown here I think this is exceptionally high end and very needed and the population I believe will flock to these airports if nothing else to see take off and landing. Very well done gentlemen I love it it’s great I hope we can get them all done like that this year of course I know we can’t but I would love to see it OMG I cannot wait.

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