2020, The year Australia welcomes flying taxis
The Australian government agency responsible for regulating aviation safety is currently in discussion with Uber regarding the introduction of short-trip, low-altitude air taxis.
This could be launched in 2023 with demonstrations being available as early as 2020.
Uber originally approached the organisation to work through legal issues regarding the venture.
CASA’s Peter Gibson told the ABC he has seen proposals that would fast-track passengers between the airport and city centres, via low-flying VTOL (vertical take off and landing) aircraft such as large drones or small helicopters, reducing travel times from two hours to 20 minutes.
“It’s a bit like you can just go and charter a helicopter at Brisbane to go to the Sunshine Coast,” Gibson told the ABC.
“That’s all they’re doing, but they’re doing it in an electric aircraft controlled by a traffic management system and they’re doing it a price point cheaper than you could hire a helicopter.”
If the Australian bid is successful, Uber Air says it expects to develop about 25 ‘Skyports’ dotted around Melbourne or Sydney in a bid to offer customers a way out of traffic gridlock. Many of these Skyports could end up being converted rooftop car parks.
4 Jan 2019