An Urban Air Mobility (UAM) company, Wisk, and the New Zealand government have announced to establish a passenger transport trial of a self-flying and all-electric air taxi, Cora, in Canterbury.
The official website of the UAM Company said it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the New Zealand government for the prototype, Cora, which is selected for electric air taxi trial.
It further said the New Zealand Government announced that it was establishing an industry-wide Airspace Integration Trial to work with leading, innovative domestic and international industry partners to safely test and demonstrate unmanned aircraft in October last year.
Wisk, based in the United States and New Zealand, announced as the first industry partner to join this program.
Wisk CEO Gary Gysin said in the statement that the agreement will propel Cora’s entry to the air taxi market.
It is a sign of confidence over the product and abilities to develop and deliver a safe and reliable air taxi service starting in New Zealand.
Minister of Research Science and Innovation Dr. Megan Woods said in her announcement that the trial is the first of its kind.
The company’s innovative technology and commitment to New Zealand makes it an ideal partner for advancing the future of travel in the world, she said.
Around the globe, Urban Air Mobility is an emerging, high-value industry and New Zealand is an attractive location because of its thriving innovation ecosystem with unique expertise, people and technology.
With the agreement now in place, the planning for a passenger transport trial in Canterbury is now underway.
The passenger route is a world’s first and will commence after Cora’s certification by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.