This Innovation Ushers in the Future of Airport Transportation

The sky’s the limit!

( - Yuri A /

What if a vacation could begin long before getting on the airplane? One country is working to make this dream a reality. According to Israel21c, Israel’s government has developed a National Drone Initiative (NDI) to study how these innovative inventions can decrease road congestion and increase access to services. Recently, the NDI tested a craft that they hope will be able to ferry passengers and packages to the airport in the near future.

Taking tech to new “heights”
The NDI was developed in partnership between the Ministry of Transportation, the Israel Innovations Authority, Ayalon Highways, and the Civil Aviation Authority, in 2019. In its early years, it mostly piloted pilotless flights carrying only small loads.

Now, three years later, with more than 19,000 sorties under its belt, the NDI is expanding, testing out longer flights with significantly more carrying capacity.

Orly Stern, the CEO of Ayalon Highways, tells Israel21c more about the NDI. “The National Drone Initiative is a project aimed at providing a variety of technological solutions to alleviate road congestion,” she explained. “The aircrafts being tested now will be able to bypass traffic jams, and ease congestion by removing cars and trucks from the roads in conjunction with air traffic management systems. This will create a variety of air transportation options for regular and emergency cargo transfers.”

Drone taxis
One such aircraft being tested is the AIR Zero, a drone with the capacity to carry up to 485 pounds for 99 miles. The NDI hopes to use drones like these as the country’s first drone taxis, carrying passengers, packages, and luggage to the airport and easing traffic jams at departure gates. 

WION reports, the drones being tested are eVTOLs – electric vertical takeoff and landing crafts. That means that they run on electric power, and have the ability to take off and land like a helicopter, allowing them to carry out errands in dense urban areas. Several drone demonstrations.

The current goal of the project, for which the NDI has been allotted 60 million dollars,  is to study the safety and feasibility of large and fast urban drones, and create “aerial highways,” sky routes that drones can follow to minimize the risk of them colliding with each other or affecting other air traffic.

WION quotes Dror Bin, Israel Innovation Authority CEO, who explains that the capacities of these drones have already been demonstrated and tested. “The significance of these demonstrations lies in creating a regulatory sandbox that allows all relevant stakeholders to have practical experience before establishing a regulatory infrastructure that enables a wider economically viable model,” Bin explains.

The world of air taxi drones has the potential to revolutionize transportation as we know it. Through rigorous testing and advancements in technology, these remarkable flying machines are inching closer to becoming a safe and efficient mode of urban transportation. With their ability to alleviate traffic congestion, reduce emissions, and provide swift aerial connectivity, air taxi drones offer a glimpse into a future where travel is easier and more sustainable. So, fasten your seatbelts, because the sky’s the limit.

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