South Korea Tests System for Controlling Air Taxis, Hopes to Launch Airport Service as Soon as 2025

South Korea on Thursday demonstrated a system to control urban air mobility vehicles (UAMs), which it hopes will serve as taxis between major airports and downtown Seoul by 2025, reducing travel time by two – will deduct one-third.

Last year, South Korea announced a roadmap to begin commercial urban air travel by 2025. The Ministry of Transport estimates that such services can reduce travel times by car to 20 minutes for distances between one hour and 30–50 km (19–31 mi) by car.

Transport Minister Noh Hyeong-ok, who participated in the demonstration, said, “Since UAM is expected to become one of the common modes of transport that citizens use in daily life, it is absolutely essential that we test and test UAM services in various environments. test it.” said in a statement on Thursday.

A pilot flies a German-made two-seat model Volocopter To test and demonstrate his control and coordination at Seoul’s Gimpo Airport.

Powered by helicopters-like rotors for vertical take-off and landing, the demonstrated craft can be operated or operated autonomously without one.

A transport ministry official said a pilot should operate the craft to ensure safety when passengers board the UAM, which will also help in acceptance by the general public.

South Korean designers also showed a model of their own drone aircraft. According to the Ministry of Transport, a full-size prototype is expected to begin test flights by next year, with the aim of developing an operational five-seat version.

Other technology showcased at the event includes imaging equipment to locate and track aircraft, and patented lighting systems for the “Vertiports” where drones take off and take off.

The cost of traveling from Incheon International Airport to central Seoul is around KRW 110,000 (about Rs 7,000) when commercial travel starts in 2025 – more expensive than premium taxis – but drops to KRW 20,000 (about Rs 1,260) per Is. The journey after 2035 is when the market will mature, the ministry said.

Thursday’s test flight determined the air traffic control system that manages domestic and international flights at airports and can also monitor and manage UAM aircraft, the ministry said in a statement.

“This shows that existing air traffic operations can be carried out in line with UAM operations,” the statement said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021