Humble QLD suburb picked for first Aussie air taxi base
A humble Queensland suburb is set to go down in history as Australia’s first sky taxi base, in a futuristic move designed to slash commute times ahead of the Olympics with an SEQ network of flying electric taxis.
Petrie in Brisbane’s north is set to be jettisoned into the next century of travel, after being named as the suburb of choice for the setting up of the first Skyportz, chief executive Clem Newton-Brown told The Courier-Mail.
Skyportz investor fundraising drive closed 9pm Thursday, with 456 individuals and groups committing over $622,000 towards plans which could see air taxis above Brisbane skies in five years.
“Our first Skyportz will be built at the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Centre of Excellence at Petrie, Moreton Bay. They are investors,” he said.
“We have not announced any further sites yet as we are going to use this first test site to assess the level of community and political support for a broader network.”
The Petrie site – which is the first off the block because of the investment of AAMCE in the futuristic infrastructure program – was deemed perfect because it was suitable for helicopter activity.
”We’re seeing this as a base but what we’re wanting to do if we get the support of the Queensland government, is we are interested in establishing Skyportz in other locations from the Sunshine Coast down to the Gold Coast to create the world’s first electric air taxi ecosystem.”
Mr Newton-Brown said “the Brisbane/Gold Coast/Sunshine Coast corridor is a perfect geographic area to create a world leading ecosystem for clean, green electric air taxis.”
“There is no jurisdiction in the world that has played out a regulatory, planning and zoning regime to enable air taxi networks. The first city that does this will see massive investment from this multi trillion dollar industry which is emerging globally. Queensland has an opportunity to be one of the first cities in the world if we get the support from Government to facilitate it.”
He said the AAMCE site was proposed to be built “within a couple of years” though the aircraft would not be available for five years.
“Prior to then the site will be used for helicopters, subject to approvals.”
“We are working with a number of different aircraft, including a commitment with the USA based Electra.aero to help launch their aircraft in Australia”
Mr Newton-Brown said plans for an SEQ air taxi ecosystem were dependant on being able to land the aircarft in places where people needed and wanted to go.
“We are hopeful the Queensland government will take this opportunity which will turbo charge investment into the state because nowhere in the world has a jurisdiction set down regulations for advanced air mobility for air taxis.”
“We think that the Olympics is a great opportunity to get this established as part of the Olympic infrastructure program to incorporate air taxi landing sites given the venues are quite dispersed compared to other Olympic cities. We see this as being a way that people can catch the 100m final and then get to the swimming pool for the next race they want to see.”
He said Skyportz was hoping the Queensland government would pick the idea up and run with it.
According to realestate.com.au, the suburb of Petrie is still one of the more affordable places to live and buy into, with five years of property sales seeing compound growth rate of 5.3 per cent for houses and -1.4 per cent for units, and median prices over the last year at $535,000 for houses and $312,500 for units.
The area already shows 4.1 per cent annual rental yield for houses that rent for a median of $425 a week, and 5.7 per cent for units where median rent is about $345 a week.
A comment has been sought from the Office of Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Steven Miles.