Urban air travel, this is not


Even if there were enough air to do it.

Urban air travel, this is not /img/urban-airport.jpg

The problem: While consumers and businesses are increasingly converting to electric ground vehicles, air travel remains a carbon-intensive industry.

The solution, according to a UK-based startup Urban-Air Port and Hyundai: build 65 airports for electric aircrafts, including VTOL ones (VTOL = Vertical Take-Off and Landing), in “key locations” across the US, UK, EU, and Asia Pacific.

A Hyundai manager declared that urban Air Mobility:

“will be integral to how we get from A to B this century”, and that this plan will _“take urban air mobility from science fiction to tangible reality”, by “unlocking clean urban air transport for everyone, improving connectivity in congested cities”.

What is missing in this picture?

If that article is a complete description of the plan and its objectives, nothing. Except space, and another important detail.

To begin with, let’s learn from Star Wars:

Urban air travel, this is not /img/coruscant_apartment_view.jpg

Urban air mobility will not improve connectivity. It will just move it up. Unless it’s not for “consumers”, but only for the elites, of course. See here and here my skepticism about this whole discourse, that remains unaltered by this plan.

Second, those statements about fixing “air travel, the carbon-intensive industry” sound to me like some three card monte, straight out of the “Now You See me” movies:

Urban air travel, this is not /img/now-you-see-me-card-trick.jpg

Read again all those statements. They are explicitly about urban air travel, that is something inside or among relatively close cities, which basically does not exist today. Building 65 electric urban airports would only compete with high speed trains. NOT with the actual “carbon-intensive air travel industry”.

  1. sneaky. Talks of air travel, but then promotes something that, if it worked, would add to the existing air travel, not replace it
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