May 03, 2023 13:15
A trial run for unmanned flying taxis could start next year if all goes according to plan, shuttling passengers from Gimpo International Airport to downtown Seoul and a couple of other locations.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will announce detailed plans later this month to get the unmanned choppers up and running by 2025.
At the moment routes are expected to link major spots along the Han River.
At first a route connecting Gimpo with both Yeouido and Jamsil was considered, but the paths had to be split up when the presidential office moved to Yongsan and created no-fly zones in the middle of the city.
Vertiports could be set up in parks along the Han River where there are no residential areas immediately nearby. Later they can sit on top of high-risers as well.
What seems certain is that the main terminal will be built at Gimpo airport by 2026, and another terminal will open in Jamsil in 2030. Each chopper will be able to carry five or six passengers.
A Seoul city official said, "Fares will be expensive at first, so the service will be offered initially to transport jewelry, VIP guests and tourists. We could also expand the service to transport emergency patients and deliver cargo."
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