UK. Urban-Air Port (UAP) has begun construction of Air One, its revolutionary advanced air mobility infrastructure in the UK city of Coventry.
Construction of the vertiport – which will be the world’s first fully operational hub for future electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft – will be completed in time for an industry launch event taking place April 25-27. The event will continue with demonstrations for the public, from April 28 to May 15.
The start of construction – which is being led by main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine – was marked by an on-site meeting between some of the key players responsible for bringing the historic project to Coventry. Senior representatives from Urban-Air Port, Coventry City Council and Coventry University were present.
Among the guests was Councilor Jim O’Boyle – Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change. He said: “This is yet another way Coventry is leading the way in transport innovation. We are at the forefront of the green industrial revolution and this is a brilliant world first.
“Our technology will enable Coventry and other cities across the country and around the world to decarbonize by enabling the safe adoption of cleaner mobility solutions. We are grateful to our partners, investors and the UK government for embracing our vision and now making advanced air mobility a viable and sustainable reality” – UAP Founder and Executive Chairman, Ricky Sandhu
“We are excited to work with our partners at Urban-Air Port to showcase this revolutionary system which, in the near future, could help increase the productivity of our cities and support efforts to combat climate change by removing traffic vehicles.”
The construction works for Air One will include a 46 meter diameter domed steel frame with tensioned fabric covering. The foundations of the steel frame will rest on a parking surface.
The center of the dome structure will house an opening 17.5 meters in diameter which will allow a lifting platform 17 meters in diameter to be lifted up and down a distance of 6 meters. The FATO (Final Approach and Take-off Area) lifting platform will allow certified cargo drones to ascend and descend for demonstration purposes.
The dome structure hangar will feature a mock-up of a static air taxi.
Other internal functions being developed include an air taxi passenger lounge, disaster emergency management and security area, command and control area, and logistics area.
UAP Founder and Executive Chairman Ricky Sandhu said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Urban-Air Port’s Air One on site – this marks a unique and transformative moment where the UK stands positions itself as the world leader in advanced air mobility.
“Our technology will enable Coventry and other cities across the country and around the world to decarbonize by enabling the safe adoption of cleaner mobility solutions. We are grateful to our partners, investors and the UK government for embracing our vision and now making advanced air mobility a viable and sustainable reality.
The Air One site is centrally located in an area that is home to around 400,000 people. It is close to Coventry mainline station and intermodal transport.
UAP has also announced that as part of its launch event for Air One, it is working with the West Midlands Police (WMP) Drone Team to provide a public demonstration of unmanned aerial vehicles.
WMP’s appearance will showcase Air One’s technological innovations as take-off and landing infrastructure and raise awareness of the benefits of drone technology for use in emergency operations.
WMP will also provide specialist knowledge and expertise as part of UAP’s development of its concept of operations, the blueprint for the successful operation of the vertiport.
Last year was a busy one for the WMP drone team, with 3,450 flights in the skies of the West Midlands. Drones provide a zero-emissions alternative to helicopter chases and when urgent support is required. They can reach all areas of the region within minutes.
The goal is that by introducing Urban-Air Port’s sustainable infrastructure network, it will further reduce response times and carbon emissions.
Sandhu said: ‘It is a great privilege to work with West Midlands Police to improve the safety of our communities and set new benchmarks in how, through the use of technology, we can provide greater high safety thanks to faster response times with zero emissions.
“I grew up in Birmingham so I am delighted to be able to support the heroic efforts of West Midlands Police to keep us safe and deploy Air One as the disaster and security emergency management center for their protests. . It’s a model we hope to replicate across the country as we enter the era of net zero.
WMP Deputy Chief Constable Mike O’Hara said: “This is an exciting time for the development of police use of drones. As a force, we receive over 2,000 emergency calls per day, so the opportunity to use drones to innovate in the emergency services industry is endless.
“Urban-Air Port will allow us to explore, showcase and implement what the future holds for sky policing.”
Read our recent in-depth interview with Urban-Air Port Founder and Executive Chairman, Ricky Sandhu, on the potential of vertiports and the business opportunities that will arise from them. here.
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