Urban-Air Port lands funding from Supernal to build 200 vertiport sites

Avatar for eVTOLBy eVTOL | January 21, 2022

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 27 seconds.

British startup Urban-Air Port (UAP), an advanced air mobility (AAM) infrastructure company, has secured what it calls a “landmark” investment from Supernal, a U.S.-based urban air mobility company. The funding will help support UAP’s plan to construct 200 vertiports around the world in the next five years to integrate AAM into existing transit networks.

Urban-Air Port
Supernal’s investment in Urban-Air Port will help the startup construct 200 vertiports around the world in the next five years, including this City Box delivery drone hub. Urban-Air Port Image

Backed by Hyundai Motor Group as the automaker’s urban air mobility (UAM) division, the companies believe this is the first time a major eVTOL company has invested in an AAM ground infrastructure developer.

Ricky Sandhu, founder and executive chairman of UAP, said in a press release that ensuring ground infrastructure is available to support future eVTOL aircraft is often overlooked in the sector — it’s a piece of the industry that UAP hopes to address.

“With Supernal’s investment, expertise, and connection to Hyundai Motor Group, we can supercharge the rollout of sustainable, intermodal, and scalable ground infrastructure that will unleash the future of advanced air mobility globally,” he said.

The recent announcement adds to the list of partnerships the two companies have forged. The companies recently announced in September their plans to construct 65 eVTOL air taxi hubs across the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia Pacific to support Supernal’s future eVTOL aircraft, which it plans to launch first commercial flights in 2028.

“We are pleased to continue working with Urban-Air Port and support its efforts to create ground infrastructure that works seamlessly with eVTOLs, and integrates the advanced air mobility industry with existing modes of transportation,” said Jaiwon Shin, chief executive officer of Supernal and president of Hyundai Motor Group.

In addition, two Supernal representatives will join UAP’s team. Adam Slepian, global head of partnerships and business development at Supernal, will join UAP’s board of directors, and Matthew Sattler, manager of infrastructure and ecosystems partnerships at Supernal, will join UAP’s board of advisers.

The vertiport developer said its landing sites will be ultra-compact and operated completely off-grid. They will be designed to provide aircraft command and control, charging/refuelling, and cargo and passenger loading.

UAP has already made headway with its vertiport construction. The startup said it is on target to opening its first full-scale Air-One demonstration site to the public in April in Coventry, U.K.a project that’s also supported by Supernal.

Hyundai entered the UAM sector in 2019, developing its initial concept vehicle, the S-A1 air taxi, which it hopes to get certificated with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The company previously said its first vehicle will be electric-powered, autonomous, and capable of accommodating four to five passengers on initial urban and urban-adjacent routes.

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