A plan to fly electric taxis over Brisbane in time for the 2032 Olympics may be more than a fancy flight, with an Australian company aiming to build an air taxi hub near the city in half years.
- Electric air taxis could operate in Brisbane by 2032
- Australian firm Skyportz is considering air taxi hub in Moreton Bay
- Air taxis have been on the horizon for several years in Melbourne and internationally
Skyportz chief executive Clem Newton-Brown OAM told ABC Radio Brisbane his company will be part of Australia’s future advanced manufacturing center of excellence, which will be built in the Moreton Bay council area by 2023.
Mr Newtown-Brown said his company wanted to operate electric air taxis in the Brisbane area in time for the Olympics, connecting places that might not be easily accessible.
“The totality [air taxi] The industry has been booming for a few years, but over the past year it has become evident that the pioneers of the approximately 300 aircraft under development – primarily in the United States – are on the cusp of certification. ” said Newton-Brown.
“They fly, they have people on board. They are not commercial yet, but within five years we expect to have a handful of planes that can legally take people – mostly electronic helicopters.”
Controlled or automated
Mr Newtown-Brown said electric air taxis would initially be piloted by one person before becoming fully automated as technology and regulations evolve.
In Australia, state and federal regulations are expected to change to allow air taxis to operate efficiently, he said, and his company has spoken to the Queensland state government.
Brazilian company EmbraerX is also working on delivering air taxis to Melbourne by 2026, announcing a partnership with Airservices Australia last year to develop concepts for a convenient air taxi service in Australia.
In 2018, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority declared air carpooling to be achievable within five years.
“The first state that actually sets the regulations will see a massive boom in its economy through investment in this industry,” Newton-Brown said.
âWe are focusing on sites where we believe we can obtain helicopter landing permits, and the Moreton Bay site will initially be a helicopter site.
“[That] will turn into an electric air taxi site. “
Vision of the Olympic Games
The cost of an air taxi ride will initially be “a little higher than a taxi but cheaper than a helicopter,” Newton-Brown said, gradually becoming cheaper as carpooling and others. innovations are developing.
Australia’s Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing, Ty Hermans, said the site is a perfect fit for a transportation hub.
âFor us, it makes perfect sense that Australia’s most advanced manufacturing center includes the most advanced transportation system possible in its design,â he said.