Flying electric taxis to take off in S'pore by 2023


Belmont Lay | December 11, 2020, 04:25 AM

Singapore could see the world’s first electric-powered air taxi service by the end of 2023, according to Volocopter GmbH.

The German manufacturer is developing the vertical-takeoff craft and is committed to starting operations within three years once it completes flight trials, evaluation and certification in collaboration with the city-state.

The craft will initially carry a pilot and one customer.

Future services could evolve and switch to two passengers.

This can occur once approvals for autonomous operation are received.

Details on the development of the flying car-like craft were released on Dec. 9, 2020.

Tickets for a 15-minute trip costing 300 euros (US$364) are already on sale.

The costs to customers are expected to fall sharply once flights become more widely available, according to Volocopter.

The company said obtaining necessary approvals from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency will be a prerequisite for flights.

Fly over Marina Bay area as a start

A demonstration flight over Singapore’s Marina Bay area occurred in October, 2019.

The first commercial route is likely to fly tourists over the same district, Volocopter said.

Cross-border journeys could also materialise moving forward.

Singapore's part in making flying taxis happen

Singapore has been touted as being at the forefront of technology and innovation with the introduction of flying taxis.

The more welcoming regulatory regime could see the craft replace helicopters and light aircraft on some routes.

The electric-powered craft are small and nimble enough to fly deep within cities and land with minimal space.

“Singapore is renowned for its leading role in adapting and living new technologies,” Volocopter Chief Executive Officer Florian Reuter said.

Volocopter plans to set up a team of 50 pilots, engineers and operations specialists to support the Singapore flights, adding that local capabilities in battery research, material science and route validation for autonomous operations will be central to the project.

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Top photo via Volocopter