Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport announced it will expand its involvement in hyperloop after a UNStudio-supported study showed this high-speed mode of transportation can replace a large share of the airport’s short-haul flights.
The new study, announced on Wednesday, predicts that this alternative transport system could substitute up to 12.5 million passengers that will travel via Schiphol Airport in 2050.
Running on solar energy and producing zero emissions, the hyperloop is a sustainable transportation system in which magnetic hovertrains glide through air-free tubes at between 600 and 1,000km per hour – comparable with the speed of airplanes.
“The aviation sector is in a situation we have never experienced before. The recovery will take several years, but it is important to continue to invest in innovation and sustainability,” said Hassan Charaf, head of innovation at Royal Schiphol Group. “We believe it is important to be involved in promising developments in the field of mobility in order to meet the demand for sustainable transport in the future.”
The study, jointly conducted by Schiphol Airport and Dutch company Hardt Hyperloop with the support of UNStudio's Futures team, looked at how the system could reduce air travel congestion.
It proposes an initial network that connects Schiphol with the main neighbouring airports in Germany, Belgium, France and the UK, reducing travel times from hours to minutes. The journey from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, for example, would take 51 minutes – shaving about 15 minutes off the time of a direct flight.
The research also found that the Hardt Hyperloop can play a major role in Schiphol’s ambition to become a sustainable multi-modal hub.
In 2018, UNSFutures partnered with Hardt Hyperloop to present our vision for the future of European Hyperloop stations and conduct an initial study of how this mode of transport can incorporate itself into cities and towns of different sizes and contexts.
Our design foresees a series of tessellating components that allow the hyperloop hubs to adapt to a range of contexts: city-centre, city periphery or joined to an existing infrastructural hub, such as an airport.
"The hyperloop is not only a realistic and viable alternative to flying, it is going to revolutionise travel,” said UNStudio’s founder Ben van Berkel. “It will provide extremely fast travel times with direct connections between cities, enabling completely new ways of working and spending our leisure time, which in turn will lead to a multitude of economic, environmental and knowledge exchange benefits.”
The latest research was also supported by Royal BAM Group, CE Delft, Stibbe, AirportCreators & Dutch Boosting Group and SEO Amsterdam Economics (in an advisory role).