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UND Aviation Dean: 'Air Taxis' could be the next growth area for aviation

Maybe "The Jetsons" was not that far from reality.

The dean of the UND Aerospace School said a potential growth area in aviation is called “advanced air mobility.”

"This is now where you're going to start to see 'flying taxis.'"

Robert Kraus said these could be “uncrewed” planes, or UAS planes. He said landing pads, like heliports for helicopters, could start popping up in North Dakota.

"We're hoping to get some in North Dakota," Kraus said. "The economics aren't necessarily there. But we are a place that can help with the testing of these devices."

Kraus said it's possible there would be certified aircraft in the US by the end of next year. He said there is some hope that Europe will have some approved in time for the Olympics.

"There may be flying taxis available for the Olympic games in Paris this summer," Kraus said. "We'll see if that happens."

Kraus said he’s already talking to several companies about the air taxis.

"What does it mean to be a pilot of one of these vehicles?" Kraus said. "Does it mean you're in the vehicle or a pilot on the ground, who's operating something flying without pilots on it?"

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