New agreement means that eVTOL aircraft could operate from Heathrow
Vertical Aerospace has announced a collaboration with Heathrow Airport to explore how its VA-X4 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles could operate from Heathrow by the mid-2020s.
Both claim that the agreement between Heathrow and Vertical is a significant milestone for Britain’s zero-emissions aviation industry.
As a result of today’s announcement, both parties will work closely to explore how this new technology can fit into existing operations at the airport, build understanding of the regulatory changes that would be required, maximise potential job opportunities and minimise any potential impacts on communities surrounding the airport.
With speeds of up to 200mph, it is claimed that Vertical’s piloted eVTOL will be able to transport four passengers in near silence from Heathrow to the City of London in 12 minutes, with zero operating emissions and at a cost similar to a taxi.
This new agreement comes as interest in the future of urban air mobility is growing, with major airlines already operating at Heathrow keen to see the technology develop.
Virgin Atlantic has already announced a partnership for the UK launch of an eVTOL network with Vertical and conditional pre-order options for up to 150 VA-X4s.
By working together, Vertical and Heathrow expect to help Britain maintain its leading position in sustainable aviation technologies and support moves to a low carbon economy to help meet the Government’s net zero ambitions to make the UK net zero by 2050.
Heathrow’s chief strategy officer, Chris Annetts, said: “This emerging technology has the potential to reduce congestion and pollution on local roads, while providing passengers with a best-in-class experience on the cutting edge of modern technology. We look forward to exploring the possibilities of zero-emissions flight together.”
Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, said: “Today’s new partnership between Vertical Aerospace and Heathrow Airport is an exciting next step on the pathway to creating the infrastructure needed to support eVTOL operations at our Heathrow hub.
“We look forward to working closely with both Vertical and London Heathrow to transform the first and last 100-mile journey of passengers travelling through Heathrow“.