Flying taxis will bring traffic jams to the sky

When Rick Deckard, hero of the 1982 science-fiction film Blade Runner, gazes down at a futuristic Los Angeles from a flying police car, a Pan Am sign shines on one of the towers. It is a nod to the helicopter service from the old Pan Am airline building in Manhattan to the John F. Kennedy airport that closed down in 1977 after a fatal accident.

Urban mobility is going back to the future. An executive of Uber - which wants to operate flying taxis by 2023 - this week promised that the "ever elusive flying car" is almost here. He was speaking at a conference for its Elevate division, where details of its new 30-minute Uber Copter service from Manhattan to JFK were announced.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2019, with the headline 'Flying taxis will bring traffic jams to the sky'. Print Edition | Subscribe