The New Zealand Government and urban air mobility (UAM) company Wisk have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to conduct an air taxi trial in Canterbury.

As part of the agreement, the passenger transport trial will use Cora, Wisk’s self-flying, electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi aircraft.

The move is part of the government’s Airspace Integration Trial programme announced in October 2019.

The programme is undertaken to establish safe advanced aviation sector by integrating drones and unmanned aircraft into the current transport system.

Wisk New Zealand will be the first industry partner under this programme.

Wisk CEO Gary Gysin said: “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 trial represent in our journey to bring safe everyday flight to everyone.

“New Zealand values innovation, excellence and technology that is safe for people and the environment. Being selected as the partner for this programme is an honour and testament to our hard work and steady progress.”

With the agreement being signed, the two entities have started testing planning.

The trial will begin once Cora secures certification from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.