- Also announced today was that Urban-Air Port and Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group announce plans to develop 65 electric urban-air ports worldwide to make clean urban air travel a reality.
LONDON, UK — UK start-up Urban-Air Port has announced plans with the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group to develop 65 electric urban-air ports worldwide to meet the growing demand for autonomous airborne drones and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) passenger vehicles.
The partnership aims to establish a global network of urban-air ports and provide the essential infrastructure to unlock clean urban air mobility worldwide. The partnership forms a key part of Urban-Air Port’s plan to build 200 sites globally in the next five years.
Investment in the urban air mobility industry has exploded this year, with $4.7 billion USD announced for the development of eVTOL vehicles.[i] Companies including Joby Aviation[ii], Archer Aviation, Lilium and Vertical Aerospace have all announced SPAC (Special-Purpose Acquisition Company) investments to bring eVTOLs to market within the decade and the industry is forecast to hit $1 trillion USD in the next 20 years.[iii]
However, the lack of infrastructure to support these vehicles is a major block on market growth, with experts at NASA saying infrastructure constraints will create a significant barrier to urban air mobility in the near term[iv]. Despite this, only 3% of the investment so far this year ($150m USD) is in the physical infrastructure.[v]
Urban-Air Port is the only company solely focused on deploying the infrastructure-technology essential for eVTOLs and delivery drones to operate. It plans to plug the infrastructure gap with more than 200 electric air mobility hubs worldwide in the next five years to meet expected global demand. The world’s first fully operational urban-air port – named Air-One – will be unveiled early next year in Coventry, UK.
 Lufthansa Innovation Hub – TNMT Advanced Air Mobility Investment Dashboard – Figures include investments into ‘air taxi’ and ‘electric air vehicle’ categories for 2021.
 Joby Aviation closed its business combination with Reinvent Technology Partners on 10th August 2021, valuing the company at $4.5 billion USD
Lufthansa Innovation Hub –TNMT Advanced Air Mobility Investment Dashboard–Figures include investments into ‘physical infrastructure’ category for 2021.
Urban-Air Port’s modular hubs are specifically designed for compact environments, supporting any eVTOL or drone vehicle, and with maintenance and charging able to take place on-site. The ultra-compact off-grid design enables urban-air ports to be located in dense urban areas and remote locations and can be easily moved to alternative sites, as the air-mobility sector develops. This design also means the sites are ideal for disaster emergency management, such as natural disasters. Urban-air ports can rapidly deploy drones and other eVTOL vehicles to collect and transport emergency supplies, equipment and people where needed. To support this future, Urban-Air Port today also announces a partnership with world leading Hydrogen Fuel Cell pioneer, AFC Energy PLC, to provide zero emission off-grid power for future sites. The system will be deployed at Urban-Air Port’s Air One site in Coventry.
Uniquely, Urban-Air Port is designed as an integrated hub for all sustainable transport, including drones, eVTOLs, electric vehicles (EVs), buses or scooters, ensuring an integrated approach to the decarbonisation of cities. Cargo and passengers can be safely and quickly loaded and unloaded, integrating seamlessly with onward transport. At the same time, EVs, buses and scooters can access on-site charging. Urban-Air Port is also developing a digital app-based platform to enable seamless door-to-door travel.
Hyundai Motor Group will work with Urban-Air Port to develop 65 sites in key locations across the US, UK, EU and Asia Pacific. The partnership represents a statement of confidence in the ability of the UK-based company to unlock the global market before 2030 and is an integral part of Hyundai Motor Group’s vision to provide smart mobility solutions for the changing world. The Group is developing its own eVTOL vehicle, in tandem with helping create the supporting ecosystem, and plans to enter service in 2028.