Home Flying cars one step closer: Japan to subsidize construction of first-ever vertiports

Flying cars one step closer: Japan to subsidize construction of first-ever vertiports

The Japanese Transport Ministry is said to be looking at supporting the practical implementation of flying cars by subsidizing some of the construction costs of the country’s first-ever vertiports.

According to The Japan Times, the ministry will cover up to 50% of construction expenses, with a cap of ¥50 million per site which is roughly equivalent to $313,500.

Flying cars include electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles which could help with being urban taxi services and reaching remote islands and mountainous regions.

After the completion and operational testing of these facilities, the ministry could be planning to develop the guidelines for the construction of future vertiports as early as the fiscal year beginning April 2026.

Vertiports are the takeoff and landing sites that will be built by local governments and private companies.

Through the ministry-run initiative, four sites could be selected through an open application process with submissions open until July 12.

The facilities will include areas for takeoff and landing, taxiways, parking zones, hangars, charging stations, and passenger waiting lounges. Again, the construction of these areas could begin very soon as they’re expected to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2024.

Then, post-construction, the ministry is planning to gather data on the operation and utilization of each vertiport which will help them to understand necessary improvements and any construction challenges.

This data will be used to improve the development of the guidelines which will outline optimal layouts and sizing standards.

Flying cars could be in Japan within the next few years

The local governments are also said to be working on roadmaps for the practical use of flying cars, including potential routes and operations that need to be developed.

In October 2023, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry announced SkyDrive for the Next Generation Air Mobility Field.

Skydrive is a Japanese eVTOL vehicle maker and they received a grant of $82 million from the government in an initiative that supports startup companies working on advanced technologies.

Its flying cars will be manufactured at a Suzuki plant starting this year.

Featured Image: Via Ideogram

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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