Wisk Aero is looking to Australia to introduce future autonomous eVTOL operations. The startup has announced a new partnership with the Council of Mayors South East Queensland that will see the two groups work to roll out autonomous advanced air mobility (AAM) in the region using the California startup’s eVTOL aircraft.
Wisk said it intends to have a long-term relationship with the Queensland government and expand its physical presence in the country by hiring Australia-based personnel, as well as displaying its fifth-generation eVTOL aircraft in Brisbane in July.
“We are proud to engage with forward-thinking local leaders, like the Council of Mayors, to advance the introduction of AAM and benefit not only Wisk, but local communities and the industry as a whole,” said Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk, in a press release. “This is an exciting time for us, as we continue our momentum and expand our global presence.”
While it’s not yet clear when Wisk plans to launch autonomous services in Australia, a consortium of companies under the banner of Greenbird are actively working with government officials to introduce electric air vehicles in time for Brisbane’s Olympic Games in 2032.
“We expect to see the emergence of advanced air technology in places like Paris and Los Angeles, and by 2032, I’d love to see it supporting new and innovative experiences for tourism and travel in South East Queensland,” said Lord Mayor of Brisbane Adrian Schrinner.
A Wisk spokesperson confirmed with eVTOL.com that the eVTOL developer has not yet joined any industry consortium groups in Australia, however, “the presence of an industry community that is carefully considering the range of issues needed to enable this new form of transport shows that Australia is a suitable environment for aircraft like Wisk’s sixth-generation air taxi to be deployed in the future.”
The California startup has existing ties in New Zealand having conducted flight tests in the region with its fifth-generation aircraft since 2017, and signed a memorandum of understanding with the New Zealand government in 2020 to carry out passenger transport trials under the nation’s Airspace Integration Trial Programme (AITP).
Backed by Boeing and Kitty Hawk, Wisk said it has conducted more than 1,550 flight tests with its various models. The company plans to unveil its sixth-generation aircraft later this year — the model that Wisk intends to get type certified and bring straight to market with autonomous operations.