WESTERN Sydney Aerotropolis will be a frontrunner in the race to become the city’s Uber Air headquarters within the next decade.
Melbourne Airport has been selected as the first city outside the USA to undertake trials of the revolutionary new vertical takeoff “drone like” aircraft.
While the test flights will be manned by a flight crew, the plan is to eventually pilot the Uber Air craft by computer.
It is envisioned that Uber will eventually have Uber Air headquarters in each capital city with “skyports” sprinkled around the major urban areas.
Following the announcement that Melbourne will be Uber’s third official pilot city – alongside Dallas and Los Angeles – as test cities for the Uber Air program it seems certain Western Sydney business people will be zooming around our skies “George Jetson style” in the next decade.
It means a businessperson could simply walk out of their office in Parramatta, for example, board a pre-booked Uber flight and be at Western Sydney Airport’s terminal in 15 minutes. Or, they could fly into Homebush or Darling Harbor in a similar amount of time.
From the skyport they would be whisked away by an Uber taxi or limo to their business meeting or hotel.
The Uber Air bases could eventually be massive undertakings involving 100ha or more of real estate development. Piggy backed on the developments will be all the mod cons of 21st century travel – hotels, restaurants, Uber tax ranks, commercial buildings and even residential possibilities.
Uber has enlisted private real estate developer in America and is expected to do the same in Australia where it has already signed partnerships with Australian companies Macquarie, Telstra, Scentre Group as well as Melbourne Airport, as part of its Melbourne project
Uber plans to launch Uber Air in Dallas, Los Angeles and Melbourne first. If all goes as planned, it will hold flight demonstrations next year with the hopes of making aerial ride sharing commercially available in 2023.
The vertical takeoff and landing aircraft – which would be booked through the Uber app – would initially be flown by a commercial pilot when they come into passenger carrying mode. However Uber envisages they would eventually become autonomous.
Uber envisions its skyports as “mobility hubs”, connecting users of Uber Air to other types of Uber transport.
In Western Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown, Liverpool, Penrith, Castle Hill and Homebush are all logical locations for the skyports.
The skyport would be designed to charge up to five of Uber’s aerial rideshare aircraft at one time. It would also have a landing area and a take-off area so flights could land and leave at the same time.
The skyports will be built from pre-existing parking garages, these mobility hubs will include dedicated pickup and drop-off space for Uber drivers, access and charging areas for Uber bikes and scooters and even Uber Eats with café seating.
The flight deck is designed to charge up to five aircraft at a single time. It will also have a dedicated landing area and dedicated take-off area, with enough separation to allow for simultaneous flight operations.