Wisk & New Zealand Government to Partner in World’s First Autonomous Air Taxi Trial

In October 2019, the New Zealand Government announced that it was establishing an industry-wide Airspace Integration Trial to work with leading, innovative domestic and international industry partners to safely test and demonstrate unmanned aircraft.

Who Are Wisk?

Wisk, a company based in the United States and New Zealand, has been announced as the first industry partner to join this program. Wisk in an urban air-mobility company dedicated to delivering safe, everyday flights for everyone. Cora, its self-flying, eVTOL (electric vertical take off and landing) air taxi, will make it possible for passengers to skip traffic gridlock and get to their destination faster. Based in San Francisco Bay Area and New Zealand, Wisk is an independent company backed by the Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation.

The trial is part of the New Zealand government’s NZ$3 million commitment made in October last year to establish an airspace integration trials programme to test and develop unmanned aircraft.

Wisk CEO, Gary Gysin, comments:

“We are delighted to now have a signed agreement with the New Zealand Government, which will propel Cora’s entry to the air taxi market. We see this agreement as a sign of confidence in our product and abilities to develop and deliver a safe and reliable air taxi service, starting in New Zealand. Wisk has been working with the Government and people of New Zealand since 2017.

We are excited about what this agreement and trail represents in our journey to bring safe everyday flights to everyone. New Zealand values innovation, excellence and technology that is safe for people and the environment. Being selected as the partner for this program is an honour and testament to our hard work and steady progress”.

Dr Megan Woods, Minister of Research Science and Innovation said in an announcement:

“This trial is the first of its kind and Wisk’s innovative technology and commitment to New Zealand make them an ideal partner for advancing the future of travel in New Zealand and the world”.

Kitty Hawk previously said bringing Cora to the commercial market in New Zealand matches the country’s forward-looking vision and strongly regulatory environment.

Around the globe, Urban Air Mobility is an emerging, high-value industry and New Zealand is an attractive location because of its thriving innovation ecosystem with unique expertise, people and technology. With the agreement now in place, the planning for a passenger transport trial in Canterbury is now underway. The passenger route is a world’s first and will commence after Cora’s certification by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.