With the advent of personal air travel many citizens have been trading in their old cars for aircars, skybikes and hovertrucks both for the exhilaration of flight, and for the much more efficient travel it offers. After all, if you can afford it, why sit in traffic all day where you might get carjacked or caught in the crossfire of a superbrawl, when you can be safely humming through thte skies at 120-200mph.
While these new air vehicles are easy to pilot, having a lot of them in a congested area is still very dangerous, especially since aerial collisions will be compounded when the stricken aircraft crash to the ground and into traffic or buildings. For that reason, the city requires that in the metro area, all personal aircraft fly along designated traffic lanes, as marked off by floating traffic buoys. These buoys are marvels of Project Daedalus spinoff technology, one of a handful of advancements not confiscated by Alpha Prime and her fellow interstellar peace officers – probably because they were deemed as having been within the grasp of Earth technology.
There are 10 “airways,” one on top of another, positioned directly above each street and highway in Century Station. Each airway is the traffic buoy equivalent of an eight-lane highway. Changing altitudes can be done every few blocks at designated vertical merge zones. Above the top most airway, traffic is free to fly in any direction, letting airborne travelers leave the city in a flash or land on top of the tallest buildings’ rooftop landing pads.
Many buildings in the city are designed with air traffic in mind, and have landing areas, or “skyports” built into the sides of the structure at every airway level. “Flythrough” businesses are huge in Society Hill, where travelers can pull over and enjoy the same kinds of amenities that ground travelers have without having to go all the way to the ground.