Inspenet, November 25, 2023.
New York’s first electric air taxi service
A few days ago, Joby Aviation ‘s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle completed its first demonstration flight. It took off from the midtown Manhattan heliport toward John F. Kennedy International Airport, covering the distance in just seven minutes, approximately 45 minutes less than the time required by car under optimal traffic conditions.
Joby Aviation aims to offer an environmentally friendly air taxi service from 2025. Its eVTOL, which is more like a drone than a traditional helicopter, received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2022 for test flights. With capacity for four passengers, this vehicle is extremely quiet and is propelled by six propellers.
Notably, New York Mayor Eric Adams has announced plans to electrify the Manhattan heliport in the coming months, with the goal of encouraging air taxi service once it becomes commercially available. This measure seeks to alleviate traffic congestion that currently affects the city.
How much will the air taxi service cost?
The fare for Joby Aviation’s electric air taxi service has not yet been revealed. However, JoeBen Bivert, founder and CEO of the company, expressed to the media his intention to “make silent, emission-free flights a daily and accessible reality for New Yorkers.” He stressed that the noise generated by conventional helicopters excludes them as a common means of transportation.
Initially, the route between Manhattan Heliport and JFK Airport will be the only one available. However, both the city of New York and Joby Aviation and its collaborator Delta, with whom they have an important agreement, plan to expand route options. The next planned route will connect the heliport with LaGuardia Airport, and from there, more options of interest to the public will be considered.
It is relevant to note that Joby Aviation is not the only company focused on zero-emission air transport. BETA Technologies, one of its main competitors, managed to make a flight from Vermont to its base in Florida with its ALIA eCTOL aircraft, traveling more than 2,000 kilometers without the need to refuel, opening up new possibilities in the commercial aviation sector.
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