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World's first 'vertiport' could be used for flying taxis in future

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By Euronews  with AP
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A rendering of a future vertiport.
A rendering of a future vertiport.   -   Copyright  COVENTRY UNIVERSITY via AP

Hubs for flying taxis could soon become "ubiquitous" by the 2030s.

The so-called ‘vertiport’ will function as an airport, with security gates and a lounge and once created, would transport future passengers from city to city.

"The important thing to demonstrate as soon as possible is how these vehicles that everyone's heard about - flying taxis, flying cars, cargo drones, logistic drones [will work]…Will the skies be congested? Will they be really busy with drones?” said Ricky Sandhu, the founder of Urban Air-Port.

“The answer is no, so long as there's coordinated infrastructure on the ground. And so we are quite literally paving the way by putting the infrastructure in place."

One vertiport already exists in Coventry city centre in the UK.

It is currently used to launch drones into the sky. But the company that designed it, Urban Air-Port, is also trying to adapt it to flying taxis by 2024.

It plans to build 200 similar facilities worldwide in the next five years.

"It is the future of a segment of aviation that is coming. It will be here by the end of this decade. And I think in the 2030s it will start to become ubiquitous,” said Michael Whitaker, the chief commercial officer of Supernal.

Supernal is one of the companies trying to operate these hubs.

It claims that these flying taxis will be electric and quiet and have the ability to carry four passengers.

But they will come with a hefty price tag. According to Urban Air-Port, one of these ports will cost between €6 million and €12 million to build.