Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) and a radical new transport and logistics infrastructure start-up have joined forces to collaborate on developing a new unmanned and manned aerial vehicle hub.
UK-based start-up, Urban-Air Port, will be working with LBA to develop an off-grid, hydrogen-powered infrastructure hub at the airport.
The main role of the site at LBA will be to provide a space for the command, charging and loading of logistics drones, providing safe and secure infrastructure to support drone delivery services in the Leeds City Region in the near future.
Within the scope of the agreement between LBA and Urban-Air Port, there is also capacity for Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) vehicle storage and charging.
Urban-Air Port aims to cut congestion in busy cities and create sustainable logistics solutions throughout the UK.
Charles Johnson, head of planning development at LBA, said: “This collaboration signifies an exciting development for the airport and highlights the ability of Yorkshire to lead on innovative infrastructure solutions.
“It’s fantastic to see how aviation and its partner industries are developing new technologies that will be essential to our future.
“I am looking forward to seeing how the project develops, as we continue to act as a key hub for connectivity in the UK.”
Ricky Sandhu, Urban-Air Port’s founder and executive chairman, added: “In putting this agreement with LBA in place, we are getting ahead of the curve for the next wave of logistics and infrastructure.
“We are looking forward to developing an ultra-compact, rapidly deployable, multi-functional operations hub with facilities for vehicles providing aircraft command and control, charging/refuelling, cargo, and passenger loading. This will result in a future with less vehicles on our road and more sustainable cities.”
Urban-Air Port has begun building its first Air One vertiport for passenger air taxis and logistics drones at a site in Coventry, which will be officially opened at an event on 25 April 2022.