The UK’s first vertiport for drones has opened today in a former car park in Coventry.

Ground infrastructure developer Urban-Air Port opened the Air-One vertiport – one of the first in the world – after receiving £1.2m of funding from the UK government.

Construction of the vertiport started in January 2021. It is 60% smaller than a heliport and has the capability to use an off-grid power supply. It has been designed to be built and dismantled fast for ease of use in urban environments and in regions that require the deployment of humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

Air-One will be used as a test site for both eVTOL aircraft and cargo drone developers. Urban Air-Port plans to install more than 200 vertiports over the next five years to meet “growing demand” with its sights set on locations including London, Los Angeles, Australia, South Korea, France and Germany.

West Midlands Police and aerial logistics start-up Skyfarer will be the first to operate flights from the site and flights of larger cargo drones will be demonstrated by drone developer Malloy Aeronautics.

Founder and executive chairman of Urban-Air Port Ricky Sandhu said: “From design through to fabrication and now into operation, Urban-Air Port has delivered Air-One in about 15 months, setting the standard for deployment globally and opening up a world of possibilities for rapid response air mobility.”