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Air Taxis Fly Over Jerusalem As Israel Creates Airspace Network

Demo flights of the Chinese-made Ehang two-seater air taxi have commenced from Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital.

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air taxis fly over jerusalem as israel creates airspace network
AFP

Israel has expanded air taxi test flights across urban areas of Jerusalem in preparation for a new drone delivery network of heavy cargo and passengers.

The demonstration, which showed how drones could ease congestion in the busy city, is part of a $15.7 million government pilot project known as the Israel National Drone Initiative (INDI).

The tests began with a half-hour flight of a long-distance Chinese-made electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) drone from Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. The setting for the tests is significant, as the government plans to use the drones for life-saving missions, as well as cargo and passenger purposes.

“What we’re looking at here is how Israel’s National Drone Initiative is expanding its scope to move beyond transporting packages to transporting human beings,” explained Daniella Partem, senior director at the Israel Innovation Authority. “We are looking to improve the economic viability of this model and advance connectivity in urban areas and further afield around the world”.

israel drone air taxi trial

The air taxi test was performed by Dronery, a subsidiary of the Israeli drone delivery fleet operator Cando Drones. The fully autonomous EH216 aircraft can carry a 250-kilogram payload for 30 kilometers using an intelligent command-and-control system that includes a real-time video feed.

“The possibility of flying the aerial taxi in the early stages within an urban area as complex as the Hadassah Medical Center is a practical realization of the Transportation Ministry’s belief [in smart transportation],” said Cando Drones CEO Yoeli Or. “Cando and Dronery are the first in Israel to bring and fly heavy drones capable of flying significant distances and carrying over 200 kilograms”.

Also Read: Blinx Brings Fresh Storytelling & News To Middle Eastern Youth

During a recent June demonstration, the startup AIR also tested its own all-electric eVTOL, known as AIR ONE. The craft features collapsible wings for easy storage and is marketed as an everyday alternative for short city commutes.

Other Israeli companies involved in the INDI project include Airwayz Drones, a provider of AI-based smart management systems for drone fleets; HighLander, which has developed a traffic management system for drones; and Robotican, a producer of ground and air-based autonomous robotic systems.

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Hamad International Wins 2024 Skytrax World Airport Awards

The Qatar airport also won “World’s Best Airport Shopping” for the 2nd time, and “Best Airport in the Middle East” for the 10th year.

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hamad international wins 2024 skytrax world airport awards

Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha, Qatar, has once again won the “World’s Best Airport” title at the Skytrax World Airport Awards. The award ceremony, held at the Passenger Terminal Expo 2024 in Frankfurt, Germany, also saw Hamad clinch the accolade of “World’s Best Airport Shopping” for the 2nd time in a row and “Best Airport in the Middle East” for an impressive 10th consecutive year.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, who played a key role in the airport’s development over the past decade, said: “This is a remarkable achievement for Hamad International Airport, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary of operational excellence, connecting passengers seamlessly from all around the world. It is a testament to the dedication of our team and partners, who have contributed to providing passengers with the finest travel experience”.

hamad international airport doha qatar

Al-Meer emphasized the importance of understanding changing travel trends and the needs of modern air passengers: “At the heart of our growth strategy lies the passengers’ journey, their evolving needs, and our commitment to meeting and exceeding their expectations. We have introduced a diverse range of experiences at the airport, including Souq Al Matar, which brings Qatari hospitality and culture closer to travelers, “Orchard”, the ideal place for relaxation and rejuvenation between flights, and an array of high-end lounges”.

Also Read: Top E-Commerce Websites In The Middle East In 2024

Hamad International Airport saw a massive 31% surge in passenger traffic during 2023, with the transport hub now serving over 45 million passengers annually. The airport is now home to prestigious airlines, including Vistara, Iberia, Xiamen Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, and Japan Airlines, serving 250+ destinations for passenger and cargo flights.

The uptick in traffic is no doubt due to the completion of the first phase of an extensive expansion project. Hamad’s management intends to radically update the airport’s facilities over the coming years in a bid to create the “airport of the future”. The expansion features a unique and calming environment of lush greenery and several contemporary dining and shopping concepts among the already well-equipped leisure facilities.

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