South Korea is leading a recent innovation by developing a system to control UAM vehicles for urban air mobility that will be used as taxis between major airports and downtown Seoul by 2025, reducing travel time by two-thirds.
South Korea last year submitted a roadmap for commercial urban aviation to begin by 2025, spearheaded by the Ministry of Transport, which predicts that these services could reduce travel time from an hour by land to 20 minutes by plane for distances of 30-50 km.
During the demonstration, a pilot flew a two-seater model of the German Volocopter at Seoul-Gimpo Airport to test and demonstrate its control and coordination. On board the unmanned aircraft, a pilot will ensure safety and accelerate public acceptance.
The ministry also said Thursday’s test flight was aimed at determining whether the air traffic control system that controls domestic and international flights at airports can also monitor and control UAM aircraft.
Other innovations demonstrated at Thursday’s event included imaging devices to detect and track the aircraft, and patented lighting systems for “vertiports” where drones land and take off.
A ride from Incheon International Airport to downtown Seoul is expected to cost 110,000 won 93 dollars when commercial rides begin in 2025. Although significantly more expensive than premium taxis, the fare is expected to drop to 20,000 won per ride after 2035 as the market matures, the ministry said.