Timeline: Imminent – to be launched within the next three years
2025 – For EXPO 2025
Yuma Shima (EXPO site) – Kansai International airport (27km)
Yuma Shima (EXPO site) - Kobe airport (15km)
Yuma Shima (EXPO site) - Osaka city centre (10km)
Osaka City Cente – Airport (40km)
Osaka Universal Studios - Yumeshima island (5km)
In September 2021 Osaka Govenor Hirofumi Yoshimura said he wanted eVTOls to begin carrying passengers in the Osaka Bay area in 2024, such as by shuttling the around five kilometers between Universal Studios Japan and the city's Yumeshima artificial island, the venue of the exposition.
Volocopter and Japan Airlines announced their collaboration in September 2020 to support Osaka services.
EHang’s local partners include Okayama Kurashiki Mizushima Aero & Space Industry Cluster Study Group (MASC). By August 2022 EHang had completed eVTOL trial flights with its EH216 in six Japanese cities including Amagasaki, Fukuyama, Sakaide, and Oita.
In February 2022 ANA and Joby announced a programme to fly eVTOL services from central Osaka to the city's Kansai Airport. The journey time would take just 15 minutes, compared to an hour by car. Toyota, which has invested almost $400 million (€352.5 million) in Joby will also join the partnership, the companies said.
In May 2022 Skyports announced it was teaming up with Japan’s largest parking lot and car sharing operator PARK24 CO to adapt existing structures as hosts of future air taxi and AAM services.
In June 2022 Urban-Air Port signed an agreement with Blue Innovation, a Japanese autonomous drone and robotics provider, to collaborate on creating proof of concept autonomous medical/logistics drone operations and UAM/AAM concepts.
In September 2022 Airbus announced it was partnering with Japanese helicopter operator Hiratagakuen to develop advanced air mobility services in the Kansai region and beyond.
“Through this agreement, Airbus and Hiratagakuen will tackle crucial aspects required to launch a commercial transportation service with CityAirbus NextGen. As a major first step, the partners’ joint project to organise a simulation of ideal routes, concepts of operations and necessary equipment for safe eVTOL flights in the Kansai region, has been selected by the Osaka prefecture, with a demonstration flight scheduled for later this year,” said an Airbus press release.
Airbus and Hiratagakuen will use an H135 helicopter to test advanced navigation and communication technologies for safe operations of eVTOLs in urban environments, while simulating CityAirbus NextGen’s flight configuration.
UAM/AAM aircraft operator:
Hiratagakuen (Airbus eVTOL operator)
Local authority partner/client:
Osaka Prefecture and the city of Osaka signed a partnership deal with Skydrive in September 2021.