Supernal and Urban-Air Port debut world's first Vertiport
Showcasing new multi-modal infrastructure for eVTOLs and future passenger journeys
US-based mobility service provider Supernal and Urban-Air Port have announced the debut of Air-One - Urban-Air Port's proprietary deployable operations hub for manned and unmanned vehicles - marking the first functional multi-modal infrastructure hub equipped to handle future electric air travel.
The vertiport is open to the public from April 28th to May 15th in Coventry City Centre, UK, and will be redeployed in additional cities worldwide later this year to continue highlighting future Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) passenger journeys and operations first-hand.
"The Air-One activation is an important step for the Advanced Air Mobility industry and demonstrates how eVTOLs can easily integrate with existing transportation networks to address local needs," said Mike Whitaker, chief commercial officer, Supernal. "The reality is no single mode of transportation - current or future - can solve cities' traffic and congestion challenges. Supernal is working with partners like Urban-Air Port to design infrastructure that brings multiple modes of transportation together under one 'roof' and enable AAM to reach its full potential."
The 17,000 square-foot radial Air-One was erected in 11 weeks and is divided into fully outfitted "zones," including a passenger lounge, café, retail pop-up, cargo logistics hub, electric and hydrogen air vehicle hangar, security screening, command and control center. The zones are anchored by a patented 56-foot circular final approach and takeoff (FATO) platform that raises 19 feet in the sky - using a compact, state-of-the-art, synchronized link-lift system - to enable future electric air vehicle takeoffs and landings.
Supernal S-A1 concept air vehicle.
The activation also features Supernal's initial concept eVTOL vehicle, S-A1, on display in the vehicle hangar, live drone demonstrations from the FATO and several new electric vehicles connected to EV chargers on the vertiport's exterior, which are powered by off-grid hydrogen fuel cells. Located .2 miles from main Coventry rail and bus stations, the activation demonstrates how the compact, prefabricated Air-One can enable seamless multi-modal travel, including AAM.
The debut of Air-One is a result of Supernal's partnership with Urban-Air Port, which began in 2020. The companies are working together to support future AAM operations related to building infrastructure networks, designing physical prototypes and shaping operational procedures.
"The opening of Air-One is a momentous occasion - the starting gun for a new age of transport, an age of zero-emission, low-congestion travel between and within cities that will make people healthier, happier and more connected than ever before," said Ricky Sandhu, founder and executive chairman, Urban-Air Port. "The Coventry demonstration – delivered in partnership with Supernal – will showcase the future of how people will travel, seamlessly integrating with other modes of transport to create a greener, more connected future. I am extremely proud to have like-minded, industry leaders like Supernal as partners on our journey to building this industry from the ground up – paving the way for us all."
Air-One departure area.
Urban-Air Port is among the diverse stakeholders Supernal is working with – across public and private entities, other modes of mobility, academia and startups – to responsibly co-create the AAM ecosystem. In addition to the Air-One activation, Supernal recently signed a partnership with the City of Miami, Fla., to help city leaders explore whether AAM can enhance existing transit options and determine if new policies are necessary to enable the industry. Supernal also supported the launch of a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership with the City of Los Angeles and Urban Movement Labs to advance L.A.'s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) planning, including the development and implementation of a comprehensive public engagement and empowerment strategy, and the pending distribution of an UAM integration manual addressing the policy and regulatory responsibilities of multiple city departments.
In addition to co-creating the AAM ecosystem, Supernal is developing a family of electric air vehicles and plans to launch commercial service with its first eVTOL in 2028. As part of Hyundai Motor Group, Supernal plans to leverage the Group's manufacturing expertise to scale electric air vehicle production and ensure AAM reaches the right price point and is accessible to the masses in the coming decades.
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 28th April 2022 | Issue #651