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Flying Taxi Airport Planning Advances in the UK

The CAA is recommending that eVTOL vehicle operations start with facilities created at existing airports

Chuck Martin

January 24, 2024

2 Min Read
ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

British aviation regulators are pushing forward the planning of airports for flying taxis in the U.K.

The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the U.S., has launched what it calls a consultation for vertiport design at existing airports.

Like the FAA, the CAA is recommending that eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle operations start with facilities created at existing airports, leveraging current airport infrastructures.

Since eVTOLs take off and land straight up and down, they do not need runways like traditional airplanes. However, they do need vertiport facilities, which typically include charging capabilities, since most electric aerial vehicles (EAV) taxis need charging between flights.

“We are a committed partner to the government’s Future of Flight Program and enabling the introduction of innovative infrastructure is one of our key strategic objectives,” said Sophie O’Sullivan, head of future safety and innovation. “This consultation is a big step towards enabling this new and innovative way of traveling to become part of our everyday life. U.K. airdromes are vital in unlocking the future of aviation operations. By leveraging existing regulation, we’re enabling future operators and aerodromes to develop their understanding and operational expertise, at the same time as growing our collective knowledge of the technology and operational scenarios to support this infrastructure.”

The CAA previously issued guidance for the advanced air mobility (AAM) industry, which included considerations relating to safety and building consumer trust.

Regulators are looking to create an infrastructure using airfields across the U.K. for air taxis to travel to and from.

The stated objective is to assure that the facilities and operations of aircraft are safe, efficient, equitable and secure.

The CAA is considering the design of operating areas, obstacle limitation surfaces, visual aids and rescue and firefighting services.

The CAA said it will accept consulting proposals until the middle of March.

Read more about:

Flying Cars

About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, a New York Times Business Bestselling author, futurist and columnist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book is titled "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis). He also is the author of "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.

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