So far they have been known from science fiction films such as “The Fifth Element” – the air taxis. But what was previously only a vision of the future may very soon become reality. The airport operator Fraport and Volocopter want to integrate oversized drones as air taxis into the daily operations of Frankfurt Airport. In the first models of Fraport air taxis, two people can be transported with their luggage in order to optimize the arrival and departure to and from the airport.
Anyone who has ever tried to reach their flight on time during rush hours knows how chaotic things can be in the Rhine-Main area. Good market opportunities for Fraport and its air taxis. They are not the only ones; many companies worldwide, whether car manufacturers, tech giants, startups or aircraft manufacturers, are working on the Zfuture of transportation.
The partner chosen by the airport operator, Volocopter, a Daimler investment, is currently working on solving the challenges of an air taxi solution. Not an easy task, especially at one of the world’s largest airports. According to Fraport, the focus here is on smooth passenger handling and efficient integration into existing infrastructures such as car parks or ICE routes. The consulting firm Horváth, which was commissioned with a study on the implementation of the project, already sees 2025 air taxis in the world’s major cities transporting passengers autonomously on fixed routes.
Will Fraport Air Taxis become reality as early as 2025?
But it is not only in large cities that passenger drones will be part of everyday life in ten years’ time; Frankfurt Airport has also set itself the goal of developing a good traffic alternative in five to ten years’ time. Company spokeswoman Angelika Heinbuch hopes to offer guests a real alternative to previous solutions by 2025.
Whether the implementation period is utopian remains to be seen. Many security issues and technical requirements have to be clarified before air taxis can fly to Frankfurt Airport. Legislative changes must also be initiated.
First test flights should take place as early as possible. The Daimler company Volocopter is planning inner-city test flights in Singapore this year. These tests are the basis for driving the development of air taxis forward in the following years. With its flying taxis, Fraport is taking an important step into the future that looks very promising so far.
Post picture: Andreas Meinhardt/Fraport/dpa