Saudi Arabia began testing the autonomous flying taxi for pilgrims

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THE first-ever electric air taxi service in the world will begin testing for transporting pilgrims between the holy sites of Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafah this year.

The launch was officiated by the Minister of Transport and Logistics and Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) Board of Directors Eng. Saleh Al-Jasser in Mecca.

The air taxi is a small commercial aircraft that operates short flights on demand. It is said to be the first of its kind in the world and is licensed by GACA.

The pilotless aircraft will be utilized during this year’s Hajj season, particularly for emergency services, as well as transporting goods and medical supplies to the pilgrims.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport and Logistics is also working on enhancing smart mobility initiatives and developing laws and regulations to enable the use of modern technology while providing an experimental environment to advance the adoption of various future transportation technologies.

Previously, Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) unveiled plans to operate flying taxis in the future to transport Hajj pilgrims between King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and hotels in Mecca.

Saudia also intends to acquire around 100 aircraft for this service.

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