Flying Taxis soar into Reality: UK plans for Urban Air Mobility by 2026

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Flying Taxi UK Vertical Aerospace
Rep. Image | Courtesy: Flying Taxi UK Vertical Aerospace

The first piloted flying taxi will take to the skies in the UK within two years under government plans which could also see regular drone deliveries by 2027.

The Department of Transport (DoT) has released its Future of Flight Action Plan which also proposes flying taxis without pilots on board by 2030. It also foresees regular use of crime-fighting drones and critical 999 care deliveries by the end of the decade.

Setting out a roadmap for drones and novel electric aircraft in the UK, the plan details how technology once confined to the realm of sci-fi could transform our skies, with studies estimating drone technology could boost the UK economy by $57 billion (£45 billion) by the end of the decade.

UK’s Aviation and Technology Minister, Anthony Browne, said that, “Cutting-edge battery technology will revolutionize transport as we know it – this plan will make sure we have the infrastructure and regulation in place to make it a reality. From flying taxis to emergency service drones, we’re making sure the UK is at the forefront of this dramatic shift in transportation – improving people’s lives and boosting the economy.”

UK flying taxis Vertical Aerospace
Courtesy: Vertical Aerospace

The plan was unveiled on the same day when the minister visited Vertical Aerospace in Bristol, one of the UK companies making the flying taxis.

The Future of Flight action plan contains measures to make drone applications and assessments easier by creating new and simple digital platforms that operators can use, ensuring companies and public services are no longer shackled by red tape and get drones up and flying quicker.

As per the statement, “It will also enable the development of vertiports – mini-airports for drones and electric aircraft that take off vertically – by developing certification standards and reviewing the use of existing infrastructure to deliver at speed, boost safety and security and put the passenger first.”

Are flying taxis are future?

The introduction of piloted flying taxis and the potential for regular drone deliveries mark significant advancements in transportation technology. It demonstrates a growing interest and investment in aerial mobility solutions to address urban congestion and improve efficiency in logistics.

The UK government’s support for such initiatives reflects a commitment to embracing innovative transportation solutions for the future. By supporting research and development in electric aircraft and drones, and with the help of key partners like the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the action plan aims to usher in a new era of eco-friendly aviation and boost the economy with new investments, ensuring the UK captures the full potential of this emerging global industry as a force for good and a driver of growth.

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