Video: First air taxi test flight in Saudi Arabia successful

The successful flight test run is a result of 18 months of cooperation between NEOM, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and urban mobility company Volocopter.

Riyadh: The first air taxi test flights were successfully completed in NEOM, the futuristic city being built in Saudi Arabia.

After receiving a special permit from the Kingdom’s aviation authority, the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) completed its week-long trial run in NEOM on Wednesday.

It comes after 18 months of cooperation between NEOM, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and urban mobility company Volocopter, NEOM said in a statement on Wednesday.

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The eVTOL aircraft will be used as air taxis and emergency response vehicles. These aircraft are quieter, more adaptable and cheaper to operate than the helicopters often used today.

The test run is focused on the Volocopter aircraft’s flight performance in local climate and environmental conditions, as well as testing its integration into the local unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM) system.

The Volocopter eVTOLs is a smart and sustainable intermodal mobility system in NEOM which will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy such as solar and wind energy sources.

The test flight announcement is based on NEOM’s $175 million (Rs 14,34,30,70,000) investment and joint venture with Volocopter.

Commenting on the achievement CEO of NEOM Nadhmi Al-Nasr said, “The successful test flight of a Volocopter eVTOL is not just another milestone towards the creation of NEOM’s innovative, sustainable, multimodal transportation system – it is a tangible example of NEOM as a global accelerator and incubator of solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.”

“This safe and successful test flight represents an important milestone of the Saudi aviation sector,” said the president of GACA Abdulaziz Al Duailej.

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