The Korea Herald


Posco, Hanwha, KAC team up to build UAM landing sites in Seoul

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : Aug. 24, 2023 - 15:19

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A concept of a large-scale vertiport developed by Posco, Hanwha and Korea Airports Corp. (Korea Airports Corp.) A concept of a large-scale vertiport developed by Posco, Hanwha and Korea Airports Corp. (Korea Airports Corp.)

South Korean steel giant Posco Group said Thursday the company will put in joint efforts with Hanwha Corporation Engineering & Construction and Korea Airports Corporation to build landing and take-off sites for urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles in Seoul, in a bid to further accelerate the commercial operation of an urban air transportation system in Korea.

During a signing ceremony held at KAC's headquarters in western Seoul on Wednesday, the three companies signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct collaborative research on constructing vertiports, or defined areas that can support the landing and take-off of eVTOLS -- electric vertical take-off and landing aircrafts -- in Seoul.

The research will combine Posco's steel utilization technology, Hanwha’s design and construction capabilities and KAC's aeronautics expertise, to build standard models for vertiports. According to Posco, the nominated installation sites for the vertiports are Jamsil Sports MICE Complex and Suseo Station, both in southern Seoul.

Posco plans to develop lightweight steel materials for the construction of vertiports, as the stations are usually located on the roofs of skyscrapers.

Posco added it will also consider applying a modular steel structure to vertiports, which will allow the sites to expand in size freely. Posco said such procedures are in preparation for an increase in the number of UAM vehicle users in the future.

The company also said it will further review applying integrated photovoltaic systems to vertiports, in a bid to operate them in an eco-friendly fashion.

"UAM is currently drawing attention as a means of future transportation. It is also being fostered by the government as a key growth engine in the future," said a Posco official.

On Monday, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced that it plans to commercialize the use of UAM in Seoul and greater Seoul by 2025 and expand its commercial services to major areas across the country in 2026.

"We expect this joint development to contribute to accelerating and revitalizing UAM commercialization," said Oh Do-gil, the head of marketing at Posco.