DGCA to lay roadmap for air taxis soon; project to take off from Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru – ET Auto

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“Delhi-Gurgaon, for instance, costs INR 1,500-2,000 by Uber. An air taxi (per passenger) will cost up to 1.5 times that or INR 2,000-3,000,” bhatia had recently said.

Soon after the biggest electoral activty in the country ended, the Aviation Ministry has started work on urban air mobility with India‘s regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) speculated to have set up multiple technical committees to lay the roadmap for air taxis to take off in the country. The project is expected to start with major cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru by 2026, followed by other cities like Chennai and Hyderabad, reported ToI.Once the country formulates rules for various aspects of the e-vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL), IndiGo parent InterGlobe Enterprises (IGE) will start work on putting the required infrastructure in place along with US air taxi manufacturer Archer Aviation.

India’s aviation authorities will also lay out the technical aspects that air taxis will need to meet to fly in the country. Boeing-backed Archer’s Indian-origin CCO Nikhil Goel says the cost per passenger of using this service is likely to be just a “slight premium” over Uber.

“DGCA has set up several panels to look at different aspects of air taxis that range from air navigation; which all routes they can operate; safety and standards for vertiports. Everything will be in place for the air taxis to take off in India by 2026. In terms of regulatory preparedness for eVTOL services for urban air mobility, India will be ahead of the curve,” reported ToI quoting its sources.

A team from Archer recently met aviation authorities over the programme’s rollout in India. IGE is in regular touch with the regulator for the same.

Recently, IGE chief Rahul Bhatia has placed an order for 200 Midnight air taxis from Archer at a list price of about a billion dollars. Archer hopes to start operations in the US, with New York and Chicago, next year. Immediately after that, the plans are to launch them in India and UAE. Bhatia recently visited Archer’s US headquarters and saw the eVTOL.

“Given the extreme congestion in Indian cities, urban (air) mobility is going to do what mobile telephony did to India (for communications in the mid-1980s). They were able to leapfrog people’s ability to communicate. This (air taxi) is not different and will work very powerfully in the country,” Bhatia had said at Archer HQ.

Cost of Air Taxi:
“Delhi-Gurgaon, for instance, costs INR 1,500-2,000 by Uber. An air taxi (per passenger) will cost up to 1.5 times that or INR 2,000-3,000,” bhatia had recently said.

Archer will begin manufacturing Midnight at its Georgia factory this year. It is working with auto major Stellantis to make air taxis in other places too, including India.

  • Published On Jun 6, 2024 at 04:06 PM IST

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