Air taxi drones could be operating from Malaga by end of 2026

Taking luxury travel to the next level – manned air taxi drones could be flying along the Costa del Sol as early as 2026. Malaga is at the forefront as one of the first cities in Europe to offer this mode of transport.

By the end of 2026, there may be no need to get the Lamborghini out of the garage straight away, instead there is a strong possibility you’ll be able to hop into a manned air taxi and find yourself at home within 15 minutes.

The Costa del Sol is gearing up for the upcoming air mobility revolution. Enaire, the Spanish airspace management authority, along with air traffic control experts, is spearheading the development of new vertical take-off and landing aircraft (VTOL) at Malaga Airport. While initial European regulations mandate manned flights, autonomous drones are anticipated for future operations.

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Test flights in 2025

Test flights of air taxi drones over Jaen. Image: copyright Lilium
Test flight of drone over Jaen. Image: Lilium

Validation flights for air taxi procedures are scheduled for October or November next year. Initially, conventional helicopters will be used instead of the drone aircraft currently under construction. The chosen route will run between Malaga and Granada during a period of reduced air traffic, minimising risks during testing.

Marc Olmo, from Enaire’s drone business development division, explains, «Our goal is to establish flight procedures for commercial aircraft.» Vertiports, designated areas for vertical take-off and landing, will be established, initially as virtual zones within airport runways. Malaga Airport already has a designated area on runway 13/31.

During this phase, the focus is on defining flight procedures between Malaga and Granada, with Lilium, the collaborating drone manufacturer, conducting certification flights. If successful, flights with Lilium aircraft are expected to commence by March 2026.

Upon certification of procedures, the first air taxis could arrive in Malaga by the end of 2026, marking a rapid timeline of just two and a half years.

If you’re interested in luxury properties on the Costa del Sol, please contact us. We have a number of off-market properties available.

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