Frankfurt Airport Wants to Offer Electric Air Taxi Services

February 12, 2019, 6:51 PM UTC

Fraport AG, the transport company that manages Germany’s Frankfurt Airport, says it is working on conceptual plans for electric air taxi services.

The company partnered with Volocopter GmbH, which makes two-person multi-rotor electric aircraft that can be flown by a pilot or autonomously. The aircraft is based on drone technology—a fact visible in the machine’s design.

Touting its product’s safe, quiet, and emission-free travel, Volocopter GmbH says it hopes to ease urban congestion by adding taxis in the sky.

“In the future, Volocopter Ports could link existing urban transportation junctions with one another and provide connections to and from Frankfurt Airport,” the company said in a statement announcing the Fraport partnership.

Frankfurt Airport—which saw more than 69 million passengers last year, according to Fraport—could be the first airport in Europe to implement such technology. However, the legal framework will first need to be completed and the aircraft will have to be certified for passenger use before this becomes a reality, the Associated Press reports.

Volocopter’s products have been flight tested in Dubai, where the government encourages the use of autonomous vehicles. Boeing and Uber are also working on their own air taxis and the regulatory framework that will allow them to become ubiquitous in American society.