This sustainable “vertiport” powered by photovoltaic panels will use air taxis to boost eco-tourism!

It is 2021 and for some weird reason when we entered the 2000s we all dreamed now would be when we would have flying cars or “air taxis” if you want to make it sound more realistic. However, there is one thing we didn’t include in our imaginative stories, these flying cars or air taxis will pick us up and also land in specific places only unlike Uber or Lyft that comes right outside your door. Keeping the future and these logistical details in mind, Chinese air mobility company EHang announced plans for a “vertiport” in Italy called Baobab designed by Giancarlo Zema Design Group (GZDG). Baobab will be an innovative eco-sustainable vertiport that produces energy and recharge the drones wirelessly!

EHang is developing an eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle which will be capable of picking up one to two passengers (initial model) then autonomously flying them to their destination. It is actually not a distant dream, EHang has actually already delivered 40 functioning air taxis to customers for testing, training, and demonstration purposes. So the company joined hands with GZDG to build a vertiport that has been inspired by the African baobab tree. The 30-meter-tall (98-ft) tower will have 360-degree windows and will be constructed from steel + laminated wood. The passengers will take an elevator to the platform for takeoff and landing on the roof terrace. Below the terrace, there is a waiting room as well as a 200 sq m (2,153 sq ft) panoramic restaurant that will offer views of the lush landscape. The vertiport will feature several photovoltaic panels that will generate over 300 kilowatts of power per day. On the roof, there are green areas with seats and three landing areas for electric drones that are recharged wirelessly from the landing pad floor which will feature some of the non-slip photovoltaic panels integrated with LED lights for night lighting and signage.  Baobab, the three independent plug-and-play charging stations, and two-passenger EH216 eVTOLs will run on the power provided by clean energy.

Baobab is a vertiport designed with the intention of boosting the eco-tourism industry – air taxis will pick passengers up at the tower and take them on sightseeing tours of the surrounding countryside. While the exact location for this project is yet to be announced, the EHang is already working on additional structures for Europe and Southeast Asia.

Designer:Giancarlo Zema Design Group

This award-winning sustainable airport is a multimodal structure capable of purifying air!

Air travel has taken a backseat this year which has given designers and architects a good amount of time to think of how they can spruce up airports while also making them more sustainable for a better future. Fentress Architects hosted their annual Global Challenge which is a student design competition running since 2011. The Fentress Global Challenge represents the company’s commitment to advancing innovative design in public architecture and attracts young talent from around the world. This year’s winner was The Green Gateway — a zero-emission multimodal airport by Nikhil Bang and Kaushal Tatiya.

The students from Southern California Institute of Architecture transform India’s Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi into a sustainable and culturally engaging hub that is also capable of purifying the air. The idea was to design a structure that can reduce the environmental impact of air travel while enhancing mobility across New Delhi which is the capital of India and one of the most polluted cities in the world. The Green Gateway proposes a future where airports are more than buildings and let the passengers connect with the site through every element of the structure. The concept has been envisioned for a future where flying cars are the norm and that means a drastic increase in domestic air travel. “As a result, we redesigned the existing terminal as a hub for six air-purifying dual-purpose towers scattered throughout New Delhi. Indoor greenery, an abundance of daylight, and arched architecture visually unite the buildings in this decentralized system,” said Bang and Tatiya.

Using sustainable design strategies to create a zero-emission concept, the structure features a decentralized system of one central terminal and six towers dispersed throughout the city – this will help regulate the purification process evenly throughout the area used by flying vehicles. These towers work as air-purifying centers as well as docking stations for the cars. Now while it may reduce domestic flights, it is increasing the vehicles in the air so to have the impact the designers wish for, the flying cars will have to be zero-emissions too. Elon, are you listening?

Designers: Nikhil Bang and Kaushal Tatiya from the Southern California Institute of Architecture

US pushes Europe to reject Chinese baggage screening tech over spying fears

The US fight against Chinese technology appears to be extending to another category: the security screening you normally see at the airport or border. Wall Street Journal sources understand the National Security Council and other US agencies are push...

Nintendo will host Switch pop-up lounges in four US airports

Waiting for your plane to board is boring at best and excruciating at worst. Nintendo will help passengers at four US airports pass the time with its pop-up lounges, where they can play hit Switch games, charge their devices and grab some freebies. N...

Heathrow Airport installs anti-drone system that can locate UAV pilots

The UK knows first-hand how disruptive drones can be to major airports. Last March, it introduced legislation to widen the drone no-fly zone around airports to five kilometers. Now, to enforce the new rules, London's Heathrow Airport has installed a...

Homeland Security wants airport face scans for US citizens

Homeland Security is joining the ranks of government agencies pushing for wider use of facial recognition for US travelers. The department has proposed that US citizens, not just visa holders and visitors, should go through a mandatory facial recogn...

Paris may offer flying taxis to 2024 Olympics guests

You can be sure that transportation will be a nightmare for many people attending the 2024 Paris Olympics, but technology could make it slightly more bearable. Airbus, Aeroports de Paris and the Paris Transport Authority are exploring the feasibilit...