Government partnership to help Wisk take-off with world’s first autonomous air taxi trial


An air taxi trial looks imminent after the New Zealand Government and Wisk, an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) company, announced a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a passenger transport trial in Canterbury.

Wisk’s self-flying, all-electric air taxi, named Cora, has been selected for the trials.

The news comes after an announcement in October 2019 which saw the New Zealand Government confirm 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.

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Wisk, based in the United States and New Zealand, was announced as the first industry partner to join this program.

The company’s CEO, Gary Gysin, said: “We are delighted to now have a signed agreement with the New Zealand Government, which will propel Cora’s entry to the air taxi market. We see this agreement as a sign of confidence in our product and abilities to develop and deliver a safe and reliable air taxi service, starting in New Zealand.”

As part of the official announcement, minister of research science and innovation Dr. Megan Woods explained: “This trial is the first of its kind and Wisk’s innovative technology and commitment to New Zealand make them an ideal partner for advancing the future of travel in New Zealand and the world.”

Adding: “Wisk has been working with the Government and people of New Zealand since 2017, said Gary Gysin. We are excited about what this agreement and trial represents in our journey to bring safe everyday flight to everyone.

“New Zealand values innovation, excellence and technology that is safe for people and the environment. Being selected as the partner for this program is an honor and testament to our hard work and steady progress.”

With the air taxi trial 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.

In the air taxi sphere, CDP recently reported on a Joby Aviation multi-million dollar funding round.

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Tags : air taxiUAMWisk
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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