EVTOLs to transform India’s urban air mobility by 2047?

It seems like the once distant dream of flying cars will be an operational reality soon, and Electric Vertical Take Off and Landing aircrafts (EVTOLs) are going to be the game-changers, considering that most cities don’t have enough space for a runway for every flying vehicle. While speaking at the India@2047, a part of the 7th India Ideas Conclave, Union Minister of Civil Aviation Mr. Jyotiraditya Scindia said that India’s urban air mobility landscape will change with EVTOLs operational across the country. He said that he had the opportunity of being exposed to the ‘new reality’ in civil aviation.

EVTOLs are one of the newest innovations in the aerospace industry. They are electric and function much like a drone. Large omnidirectional fans help the aircraft move in any direction and even takeoff vertically. While designs vary between developers, most seem to resemble the form of a drone. 

The minister said that trials for EVTOLs are being conducted by the US and Canadian Air Forces and as soon as they get the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA-US) and other certifications, India will try to persuade them to set up manufacturing bases in the country. He said that India is already in conversation with several producers in US and Canada.

In the days to come, much like the robots we saw today, e hopefully will have Urban Air Mobility in the form on EVTOLs across the length and breadth of our country.”

Jyotiraditya Scindia, Hon’ble Union Minister of Civil Aviation

Watch: Mr Scindia’s take on India at 2047 @ Ideas Conclave by India Foundation

He also added that although the technology will first be introduced to the Indian Air Force, it will later permeate into civil aviation too. “India prior to 2014 had 74 airports and over the last eight years, we have built an additional 67 airports, seaports, and heliports. That number has gone from 74 in 70 years to 141 over the last eight years. It’s our commitment to you (people) that by 2025 we will have more than 200 airports, heliports, and water-domes in India.” the Minister said.

Scindia added, “The growth will not come only from metros, it will come from the Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Therefore, it is our endeavour to have a network of airports in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities in place, so that the overall last mile connectivity becomes a reality in India.”  

Citing the need for world-class infrastructure and lowering India’s towering logistics costs, the minister said that the nation is not only looking forward to connections within and outside geographical boundaries, but all the way through last-mile connectivity.

Globally, the market for EVTOLs has grown substantially in the last few years, with over 150 companies developing air taxi projects, and people in the UAE and India are the most likely to try EVTOLs once approved in their country.

According to Martin Warner, CEO and founder of air mobility company Autonomous Flights, the market in the last four years has grown dramatically, from a handful of companies to more than 150 worldwide. “Morgan Stanley in 2018 called [EVTOLs] the next big market, as they suggested that EVTOL aviation could be valued at around USD 1.5 trillion by 2040,” he says. “This means that EVTOL [could become] a major segment, as big as aviation itself or as big as passenger jets.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *