On April 25, 2022, Urban-Air Port and Supernal unveiled the Air-One in the United Kingdom. The Air-One is a proprietary deployable operations hub that could provide quick multimodal infrastructure for eVTOLS and other passenger travel – think small turnkey airport, or, as they call it, a vertiport. Unfortunately, this one is for viewing purposes only, though they plan to hold drone demos to show potential advanced air mobility (AAM) use case scenarios.
The Air-One is a 17,000 square-foot circular structure built in just 11 weeks and designed to serve four markets: passenger air taxis, autonomous delivery drones, disaster emergency management and defense operations and logistics.
The vertiport has zones to serve these various purposes, so it has a passenger lounge, security screening, café and retail space, as well as a cargo logistics hub, electric and hydrogen-air vehicle hangar, passenger taxi processing and control center. The middle of the vertiport is a 56-foot circular final approach and takeoff platform that raises 19 feet in the sky using a small link-lift system for takeoffs and landings.
Supernal, a part of Hyundai Motor Group, is developing an eVTOL vehicle prototype, the S-A1, which is on display in the vehicle hangar.
According to Mike Whitaker, the chief commercial officer of Supernal, no single mode of transportation, current or future, can solve traffic and congestion challenges.
The Air-One is located about two blocks from Coventry's main rail and bus stations to show how these prefab structures can advance multimodal travel.
Along with the drone shows, the mini airport also has EVs connected to chargers powered by off-grid hydrogen fuel cells.
Ricky Sandhu, founder and executive chairman of Urban-Air Port, called the opening of Air-One "the starting gun for a new age of transport." He foresees an age of zero-emission, low-congestion travel between and within cities.
Supernal is developing a line of electric air vehicles and plans to launch commercial service with its first eVTOL in 2028. The company hopes to leverage Hyundai's manufacturing expertise to scale electric air vehicle production once it's ready.
The vertiport in the UK will provide a blueprint for the more than 200 structures scheduled to open over the next five years around the globe.
The vertiport is open for public visitation in Coventry until May 15, 2022, and will be redeployed in additional cities later this year to highlight the future of AAM.