Air Taxis in Asia

Issue: 2 / 2020Photo(s): By BELL

Bell has partnered with a major Japanese airline and infrastructure provider to bring on-demand aerial mobility to Japan, while Airbus is working with Singapore’s national aviation authority, CAAS, toward a similar goal. Bell and Airbus have each signed agreements with local partners in Asia to bring urban air mobility to life, with Bell focused on Japan and Airbus continuing past cooperation with Singapore’s civil aviation regulator. The two aerospace stalwarts, both heavily involved in electric air taxi development, continue to demonstrate they are unwilling to settle for a simple aircraft manufacturer’s level of involvement and share of the profit expected from this emerging market.

In Japan, Bell is partnering with Japan Airlines and Sumitomo Corporation to create an on-demand air mobility network, as well as work to build the infrastructure and foster the regulatory environment required for the service to take hold. The three companies will “develop policy and planning recommendations, identify entry into service use cases and pilot programmes as well as develop infrastructure requirements that integrate into both current and future transportation systems and city standards to provide safe, accessible and sustainable multi-modal transportation system to our communities,” according to a joint press release. “We are excited to take this substantial step forward to bring together an international airline, a major infrastructure provider, and a VTOL OEM to work collaboratively on a more connected mobility future.” said Bell’s Scott Drennan, Vice President of Innovation. “While we are known for our 80 years of creating vertical lift aircraft that move people, goods and data, we also want to help shape the operational infrastructure in which they will live.”