Brisbane’s skies could resemble those of Back to the Future or The Fifth Element, with a futuristic service set for takeoff.
Autonomous aerial taxis could carry passengers through the skies of South East Queensland during the 2032 Olympic Games, in a major business deal inked ahead of the global event.
In the first significant business announcement since Brisbane was named an Olympic host city, Wisk Aero has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop its autonomous air taxi service in the southeast, potentially delivering hundreds of new jobs and revolutionising public transport.
Wisk Aero, established in 2019 as a joint venture of global aviation leaders Boeing and Kitty Hawk Corporation, has signed the deal with Council of Mayors SEQ to trial its all-electric, self-flying air taxi – which will be launched in King George Square on Thursday.
Council of Mayors chair and Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the two organisations would work together to introduce a safe, sustainable, and scalable autonomous air taxi service to the region.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Wisk to look at how southeast Queensland can capitalise off the new jobs and economic opportunities associated with this Australian-first industry,” he said.
“We expect to see the emergence of advanced air technology in places like Singapore, Paris and Los Angeles and by 2032 I’d love to see it supporting new and innovative experiences for tourism and travel right here.
“While there’s still plenty of work to do around regulation and safety, the prospect of having autonomous air taxis operating throughout our region and between venues during the Brisbane 2032 Games is really exciting.”
Wisk Aero chief executive Gary Gysin said the company was lured to Brisbane as a result of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games – which was started by the Council of Mayors.
“This is an exciting time for us, as we continue our momentum and expand our global presence,” Mr Gysin said.
“We look forward to building on the strong relationships we have in Australia to make safe, all-electric, autonomous flight a reality.”
Under the memorandum of understanding the Council of Mayors and Wisk will engage the region’s councils on the introduction of autonomous air taxis.
“This collaborative approach will be critical to the industry’s investment and rollout across our region in the future,” Cr Schrinner said.
Originally published by Hayden Johnson in The Courier Mail. View article HERE.