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Flying taxis arrive in a city near you


Air taxis could start flying in UK as early as 2025 if they receive regulatory approval


Karl Tomusk

London’s £ 7 billion Brent Cross regeneration is set to include a take-off and landing ‘vertiport’ for air taxis, as its development partners step up their transport infrastructure ambitions.

Joint venture partners Argent Related and Barnet Council have signed a memorandum of understanding with Skyports, owner and operator of vertiport infrastructure, to develop a passenger air taxi vertiport in Brent Cross Town.

Argent Related and Skyports will use the mixed-use development as a pilot project. Depending on its outcome, it could be expanded to other Silver-related developments in the UK and US, Skyports said. PlaceTech.

The attraction of vertiports

As Argent Related invests heavily in traditional modes of transport at Brent Cross, a potential vertiport would open up high-speed transport in the region, connecting it not only to central London but to regional hubs.

Several companies, including Uber, Toyota and Airbus, are working on prototype air taxis that can reach speeds of up to 200 mph.

Development director Anthony Peters said a vertiport could get to Oxford or Cambridge in 15 minutes, while Manchester would be only 50 minutes away.

He added: “Building strong links with major regional cities will support the development of a new office district in Brent Cross. “

Countdown to take off

A temporary vertiport could be built in Brent Cross Town as early as 2024, with a permanent location installed later this decade.

However, Skyports said its air taxi partners are on track to achieve certification by 2024, meaning the UK could see its first commercial passenger flights as early as 2025.

Skyports, which in recent years has acquired space on London’s rooftops for use as drone delivery sites, unveiled its first air taxi vertiport in Singapore in 2019. Since then, it has made deals across the world to develop “advanced air mobility”, including in Japan, Malaysia and the Americas.

In the UK, the company is involved in an 18-month government-backed research project exploring the feasibility of an air taxi service in the South West.

“Huge progress”

Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports, said the Brent Cross project is a “sign of huge progress” in the industry, adding: “The very fact that vertiports are being planned for construction in mixed-use neighborhoods such as that Brent Cross Town demonstrates the direction in which the industry is moving and the growing confidence in its success.

“Our in-house team of airport planners, regulatory experts, airspace experts, software and hardware developers remain fully focused on vertiports that are safe, convenient and located in locations that will have an impact. positive on everyday life “.

Andre Gibbs, Partner at Argent Related, said: “We welcome the opportunity to partner with Skyports to provide a vertiport in Brent Cross Town and demonstrate our approach to future-proof transportation infrastructure.

“The vertiport would strengthen transport links to and from central London and complement the new station, existing tube links, full road connectivity and cycle paths. “


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