Japan's top parking lot operator to open flying car base in 2025

Park24 to turn an existing Kansai lot into landing space for World Expo

Nikkei -- May 27

TOKYO -- Park24, the largest car park operator in Japan, will convert a parking facility into a takeoff and landing base for flying cars in the western Kansai region in 2025 as part of the World Expo, Nikkei has learned.

More companies are entering the business of operating flying cars, which refer to electrically powered vertical takeoff and landing aircraft mostly on autopilot, but the lack of landing sites has become an issue. This move by Park24, which runs about 20,000 parking facilities, is expected to spur other operators into entering the space.

Park24 will develop a takeoff and landing base in a corner of a parking lot it manages in the Kansai region, close to Yumeshima, a man-made island that will be the site for the World Expo 2025. It will adhere to guidelines for such sites drawn up in Europe and the U.S., with the aim of eventually expanding the business throughout Japan.

Park24 will be the first Japanese parking lot operator to enter the flying car business. It will work with Skyport, a U.K.-based company that has developed and operates such a base in Europe.

The Kansai lot will be able to accommodate aircraft of various sizes, from small ones that can take one or two passengers to those that have a five-person capacity that are suitable for longer flights.