June 3, 2021

Air taxis to be a big success 'if safety issues taken care of'

categories : aviation

Air taxis will be a big success with passengers, once they are approved and commercially viable but only if safety is the top priority for operators and manufacturers, said a new global research for Horizon Aircraft.

The study in 10 countries across North America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, and Asia found 65% of adults will fly in electric vertical take and landing (eVTOL) air taxis once they are approved by regulators in their own country while 61% would use them in other countries where regulators have approved them.

People in the UAE (87%) and India (82%) are the most likely to try air taxis once they are approved in their country while South Africans (88%) are the most positive about other countries.

Just 16% globally would not fly in air taxis if they are approved in their home country while one in five (20%) are unsure. The figures are similar for using air taxis in other countries with 18% definitely opposed and 21% unsure.

The research, which was commissioned by Horizon Aircraft, the advanced aerospace engineering company that has developed the Cavorite X5, the world’s first eVTOL that can fly the majority of its mission exactly like a normal aircraft, points to a bright future for the sector.

However, safety issues need to be rigorously addressed with three out of four (76%) of those surveyed saying worries about eVTOL safety would be the biggest deterrent for using air taxis while 69% would want reassurances about the training of pilots, it stated.

Less than half (47%) would be worried about the cost of flights while only 38% say comfort during flights would be a concern and 43% are worried about the environmental impact.

Horizon’s research shows widespread support globally for the development of the eVTOL industry and its potential impact on jobs and investment. Around 77% questioned believe the development of the sector is positive.

CEO and Co-Founder Brandon Robinson said: 'There is strong support for the concept of air taxis and the eVTOL market in general worldwide, people are keen to use the aircraft, and very positive about the development of the sector.'

'That is reflected in the growing investment in eVTOL market with $900 million invested

in the urban air mobility market in the first six months of 2020 and forecasts of much more investment in the coming years,' stated Robinson.

'The challenge for the industry is designing aircraft which are commercially viable and which, most importantly, meet the highest standards of safety to meet passenger expectations,' he added.

The Horizon Aircraft Cavorite X5 has an additional layer of safety built into it. If the pilot goes too slow or has to go in and out of vertiport, they can do so because the wings open up and it turns into a helicopter that can stop in mid-air and then land and reverse.

On February 18, Astro Aerospace, a global leader in eVTOL aerial vehicles and drones, entered a binding agreement to acquire Horizon Aircraft.

The transaction is expected to close on or before the beginning of 2nd Quarter pending customary closing conditions.

Astro, a pioneer in the eVTOL market, has developed one of the market’s safest and most efficient eVTOLs in the world.

In 2018, the Company’s drone, ‘Elroy’, was one of the first to seamlessly fly with humans on board. Astro continually defies traditional aviation design, and the acquisition of Horizon will only push the company further, with the ability to reach greater heights working in tandem with Horizon’s exceptional team.

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