A glimpse into the future of urban air travel with Utah’s first vertiport demonstration

May 20, 2024, 10:32 PM | Updated: 10:39 pm

LAYTON An empty parking lot in Layton has been transformed into the stage for Utah’s first vertiport demonstration. It offers a vision of the future of urban air travel.

According to the Utah Department of Transportation, these vertiports are set to revolutionize how we think about transportation, providing a sneak peek at the potential of air taxis and drone deliveries.  

Matthew Maass, director of the Division of Aeronautics for UDOT said, “We watched Jetsons as young kids and we knew at some point this was going to be happening.” 

The demonstration highlighted a future filled with air taxis and drone deliveries. A parking lot near homes and businesses served as a prototype vertiport, showcasing what urban air travel in Utah could look like. 

A Bell 505 helicopter demonstrated the takeoff and landing capabilities that future air taxis will require to make vertiports a reality. Maass emphasized the importance of such demonstrations.

Reason for the work

“The reason we’re doing this is to work on how we can seamlessly and safely integrate vertiports into neighborhoods and businesses,” he said.

A vertiport, essentially a micro-airport, is designed for aircrafts that do not need runways, enabling them to take off and land vertically.  

Brent Chamberlain, associate professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at Utah State University explained the planning involved, “We’re trying to map where vertiports could actually go in the valley. There are many potential sites, including empty parking lots, and the state is even looking at state-owned parking lots as spots for this.” 

UDOT is confident that vertiports will make transportation quicker and cleaner, which is a key focus at this year’s Utah Aeronautics Conference. 

“It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when,” Maass said.  

Looking ahead, UDOT expects vertiports will start appearing around the valley within five to 10 years. Initially, they will likely be used for deliveries, but there is no doubt that air taxis will soon follow, transforming how people travel in and around urban areas. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Jack Walker (left) and Lizzy Walker (right) talk about the many miracles that came together to save...

Eliza Pace

‘I didn’t have a heartbeat for 11 minutes,’ Utah man thankful for miracles that saved his life

A 23-year-old man is thankful to be alive after multiple miracles saved his life when he had a heart attack.

16 minutes ago

a red flag waving in front of smokey skies...

Larry D. Curtis

Utah issued its first Red Flag Warning of the year

Low humidity and high winds prompted Utah Fire Info to release its first Red Flag Warning of the year for Utah.

24 minutes ago

The Clear Creek Fire has burned 20 acres in Sevier County. (Utah Fire Info, X)...

Josh Ellis

Clear Creek Fire 50% contained; crews say fire started by vehicle on I-70

The Clear Creek Fire, which has burned approximately 20 acres in Sevier County by Interstate 70, was 50% contained as of Thursday morning.

2 hours ago

FILE: Elected officials and representatives from U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams unveil t...

Associated Press

Possible 2026 World Cup training camps may include Salt Lake City or Herriman

Possible team training camps for the 2026 World Cup include a site in Salt Lake City among several other U.S. cities.

4 hours ago

A grid with still pictures from nine films...

Larry D. Curtis

Sundance offers free film festival screenings to Utah audiences in July

Many associate the Sundance Film Festival with snowy streets in the annual winter film festival, but Utahns will have a chance to see free screenings, including outdoors, in July.

4 hours ago

Candidates for the Republican primary's Utah’s 3rd Congressional District in a televised debate a...

Daniella Rivera and Annie Knox

KSL Truth Test: Fact-checking GOP candidates in race for Utah’s open US House seat

The KSL Investigators looked into claims from five Republican candidates vying to replace Rep. John Curtis in the U.S. House of Representatives.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

A glimpse into the future of urban air travel with Utah’s first vertiport demonstration