Urban-Air Port has opened today (Monday) what it claims to be the world’s first hub for flying taxis, Air-One, in Coventry, UK – representing a blueprint for more than 200 sites to be built worldwide over the next five years.

The advanced air mobility (AAM) market is forecast to grow by nine percent annually to reach $1 trillion within the next two decades, and despite a booming market and a strong pipeline of eVTOLs entering commercial operations this decade, a lack of ground infrastructure remains one of the single biggest barriers to growth, according to NASA.

Ricky Sandhu, Founder and Executive Chairman of Urban-Air Port , said: “The opening of Air-One is the starting gun for an age of zero-emission, congestion-free travel between and within cities. 

“From design through to fabrication, Urban-Air Port has delivered Air-One in just 15 months.”

Air-One will host demonstrator flights of aircraft command and control, eVTOL charging and cargo loading for unmanned drones, with West Midlands Police and Skyfarer to be among the first to operate flights from the site. 

Flights of large cargo drones will also be demonstrated by UK-based drone developer, Malloy Aeronautics, said to be the first time a drone of this size has flown in such a dense and built-up urban environment. 

Air-One will also host charging infrastructure for other modes of electric transport, including electric vehicles from some of the world’s biggest and most well-known automotive brands. 

Minister for Aviation Robert Courts said: “The opening of Air-One, backed by Government funding, will put Britain at the vanguard of clean transport and bring investment and high-skilled, green job opportunities to the nation, while levelling up opportunity in the Midlands.”

In January last year, Air-One was selected as a winner of the UK Government’s Future Flight Challenge to receive a £1.2 million grant.

Urban-Air Port’s order book for additional sites is planned in the West Midlands and London, and internationally at Los Angeles in the United States, Australia, South Korea, France, Germany, Scandinavia and South East Asia.

Mike Whitaker, Chief Commercial Officer of Supernal, said: “Air-One’s Coventry demonstration is developing a scalable system to support advanced air mobility operations that requires collaboration from all industries around the world. 

“Supernal’s support of Urban-Air Port reinforces our belief in fusing technology and innovation to enable humanity and society to reach new levels of potential.”

As announced in October 2021, Urban-Air Port and the international business division of Munich Airport will cooperate on the launch of Air-One

Coventry was chosen for the site due to its location at the heart of the UK and its historic leadership in the automobile and aerospace industries, with a series of events to form part of Coventry’s City of Culture celebrations in Summer 2022. 

As part of its mission to deliver a ‘world-class’ customer experience at Air-One® and demonstrate the potential of non-aeronautical revenue streams to support a rapid global rollout, Urban-Air Port® has partnered with leading brands – Anatomie, Bottega S.p.A., Eurest (part of Compass Group), LG Business Solutions, Mother and Paul & Shark – to demonstrate a retail and food & beverage (F&B) experience under the company’s new retail and F&B brand, ‘Urban-Air Choice’.

Air-One®is located at Westminster Car Park, in the centre of Coventry (CV1 3FZ). Members of the public interested in attending can sign up for tickets at www.urbanairport.com/aironeevent