Since 2001, air taxis were already considered for operations in the US through a NASA study that delved into the potentials of SATS. The latter being the acronym of the Small Aircraft Transportation System, for which studies in the manufacture of electric air taxis have been conducted by the aerospace industry.
What Exactly is an Air Taxi?
An air taxi before, simply referred to a small commercial aircraft that provides, as a service, brief flights on demand. Currently, they are now known as electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft or eVTOL, of which thousands are expected to fly above cities to provide air taxi services by the year 2030.
Last Sunday, Nov. 13, light aircraft manufacturer Joby Aviation launched an exhibition flight in the city, which took off at the Manhattan Heliport in Downtown,New York. It’s the first time that Joby deployed a first-ever electric air taxi flight in an urban environment.
Joby plans to make electric air taxis available by 2025, to bring JFK Airport passengers to downtown Manhattan. The quiet, emissions-free eVTOL journey takes around seven minutes. Recharging of the electric air taxi takes about five minutes, while passenger unloading and boarding is taking place trip in a manner similar to a rideshare transport system. The cost of booking a trip is yet to garner approval although reports have it that the future cost will also be similar to rideshare.
Currently, the technology is already in the third phase of obtaining a five-stage certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.