As flying cars turn into a reality in Japan, Mitsubishi Estate explores the potential of takeoff and landing pads that are expected to be built on the rooftops of their many high-rising skyscrapers. 

Japan has been leading among the pioneering states that have invested time, capital, and technology into exploring the boundless possibilities presented by futuristic technologies, one of which is flying cars. The Japanese government is quite committed to this cause and has since poured large sums into the development of flying cars with an objective and expectancy to commercialise these futuristic transportation networks by 2023.

A significant number of startups and new flying car concepts have since emerged in the nation, including the well-renowned SkyDrive, as well as the recent Toyota Motor-backed Joby partnership with Japan’s All Nippon Airways, and more such intriguing developments in the aircraft market.

As Japan continues to explore the potential of the technology, Mitsubishi Estate, one of the largest real estate developers in the country, prepares to launch Tokyo’s first flying-vehicle test flights in fiscal 2024. Preceding the announcement, the property developer is expecting to remodel the rooftops of its many skyscrapers across the city into flying car takeoff and landing pads to accommodate its newest undertakings.

Leading in innovation and architectural design, the real estate giant will function as the operator of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government project, in partnership with Japan Airlines, and a Japan-based trading company, Kanematsu, that works in close liaison with Skyports, a landing infrastructure developed from the United Kingdom.

Aside from that, German startup Volocopter‘s electrically powered vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are currently being considered for a potential partnership.

Among many of Mitsubishi Estate skyscrapers in Tokyo, rooftops in the Marunouchi business district have been selected as potential choices for pad sites, along with the suburban parking spots owned by the company, given its close proximity and accessibility within the city.

Furthermore, the real estate developer aims to unveil the final product and have a commercial launch around the second half of the 2020s, contracting takeoff and landing pads to aircraft operators, with plans to expand its operations beyond Tokyo.

The nascent industry, however, continues to face new challenges, as flying cars are currently deemed as aircrafts under the law, with slow progress on addressing the regulatory regime under the Civil Aeronautics Act.

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