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UK expects air taxis in 2033

Tested in-flight interaction between an eVtol and commercial aircraft

Air taxis will be able to operate safely in European skies within the next ten years. This is the conclusion reached by the experts after the first flight simulation organized by Nats (formerly National Air Traffic Services), the British air traffic control agency: in recent days an eVtol (Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing), flights from Bristol to London without interfering with commercial planes.

"Our skies are already very crowded, so we will have to find innovative ways to manage and integrate this new generation of electric aircraft. Safety will always be an absolute priority. The role of the airspace manager, the new technologies we are developing through eVtol operators and traditional air traffic control will be key", said Anna Postma-Kurlanc, test manager at Nats. 

This is the first simulation of its kind ever carried out in the UK. The test was used to understand how air taxis integrated with existing aircraft in the airspace. To carry out these checks, a VX4 made by the British manufacturer Vertical Aerospace was used, which flew from Bristol airport to London City airport.

For the management of these aircraft, Nats is developing specific technology to support such flights: it is an app-based platform that allows operators to submit automatically amendable or approved flight plans. Further demonstration flights are planned for late 2024.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency