Air taxis to fly in sky of South Korea in 2025

2020.11.12 09:31:40 | 2020.11.12 09:32:17

[Photo by Incheon Metropolitan City]이미지 확대

[Photo by Incheon Metropolitan City]

Air taxies are expected to shuttle passengers from South Korea’s main gateway Incheon International Airport to nearby cities starting 2025.

Incheon Metropolitan City announced on Wednesday that it signed an agreement with Incheon International Airport Corp., Korea Land & Housing Corp. (LH), Incheon Metropolitan City Development Corp., and Incheon Free Economic Zone to set up a system and infrastructure for urban air mobility (UAM) service.

UAM, considered a future transportation system that is greener than cars, is expected to reduce an hour distance within the city area to 20 minutes without carbon emissions.

The latest project will be carried out in line with the Korean government’s Korean UAM (K-UAM) roadmap unveiled in June.

Under the K-UAM roadmap, special routes for UAM services between the country’s main gateways airport and city areas will be set up and tested by 2024 with an aim to commercialize air taxis in 2025.

Based on the roadmap, Incheon Metropolitan City and Incheon Free Economic Zone will set up demonstration routes for air taxies and come up with neccessary rules for UAM services. LH and Incheon Metropolitan City Development Corp. will designate a special city in which UAM service can be tested and provided, while Incheon International Airport Corp. will provide a transportation system that connects the city area and the airport, as well as ensure safety in airspace areas near the airport.

A plan of urban air mobility demonstration route in city area. [Photo based on K-UAM roadmap]이미지 확대

A plan of urban air mobility demonstration route in city area. [Photo based on K-UAM roadmap]

UAM Team Korea – a group of 37 entities including the central government, regional governments, research entities, public institutions, and private companies – will discuss candidate areas for UAM demonstration routes and designated cities.

Some potential areas being considered within Incheon are reservation areas in Yeongjong and Cheongna, Gyeyang Techno Valley, and Gimpo International Airport, owned by Incheon International Airport Corp., LH, and Incheon Metropolitan City Development Corp. The big picture for reservation areas in Yeongjong and Cheongna and Gyeyang Techno Valley is to establish a comprehensive transportation system that directly connects air taxi stations and land transportation such as railway, bus, and taxi, and develop it into a specialized city.

According to market analysis, Korea’s UAM market is expected to reach 13 trillion won ($11.7 billion) in 2040, create 160,000 jobs, generate 23 trillion won worth of production inducement effect, and have 11 trillion won value-added inducement. The size of the global market is estimated to be 730 trillion won.

By Ji Hong-goo and Lee Eun-joo

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