Advanced Air Mobility News

Japan’s Hirakata City Aims for Air Taxi Service

Japan’s Hirakata City Aims for Air Taxi Service

Japan’s Hirakata in the northern part of Osaka Prefecture has revealed a goal to become an early host for an eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) air taxi service.

Speaking on Sunday at a seminar on a “future with flying cars,” organized by his local government, Hirakata Mayor Takashi Fushimi announced that he aims to establish an air taxi service linking Hirakata with nearby Yao Airport as a policy designed to boost tourism.

While noting his view that “I think it starts with flying over the sea and rivers,” he added that “I want to realize this through public-private partnerships.”

The mayor recognized that his administration won’t be able to move forward with concrete plans until the national government has settled the necessary legal framework and regulatory issues.

While representatives of eVTOL developer SkyDrive were present at the event, Fushimi made clear that his administration is not committing at this point to any specific vehicle, vertiport, or another infrastructure provider, but will rather make such determinations at a future occasion.

Fushimi’s administration is said to be quietly reaching out to a number of eVTOL firms.

Hirakata is the fifth-largest city in Osaka Prefecture with a population close to 400,000 people.