Volocopter and Skyports announced that they are teaming up to build the first mobile Volo-Port for air taxis. The Volo-Port will be the physical landing pad for electric take-off and landing (eVTOL). The partners plan to build it in Singapore for scheduled public flight trials in the second half of 2019.
The prototype will allow real-life testing of the full customer journey; showcase planned customer services, including pre-flight checks, passenger lounges and boarding procedures; enable practical testing of ground operations and services, including battery swaps and charging, maintenance, safety and security; and give authorities and industry regulators the chance to interact with the infrastructure, and provide feedback, before approving the final design.
“Receiving the commercial license for air taxi aircraft is a question of time, not possibility. We are thus focusing on shaping the necessary ecosystem around [urban air mobility (UAM)], including air traffic management, city regulation, and the take-off and landing infrastructure. It takes visionary partners, like Skyports and [Brandlab], willing to make investments to actively shape the future of urban air mobility,” said Alex Zosel, co-founder of Volocopter, in a press release. “Once regulation comes through on the aviation and city level (and this will be sooner than most think), we will be ready to take off.”
Vertiports are the only physical infrastructures required for air taxis to operate in cities in the near future, and will be designed to merge with their surroundings.
“Each individual Volo-Port is designed so that it can stand alone or connect to other ports in numerous formations, enabling rapid deployment and scalability. We have analyzed the available spaces and movement dynamics in city centers across the world, and recognize that infrastructure is a key enabler for the emerging UAM market. We are delighted to be building the world’s first operational Volo-Port in partnership with Volocopter,” said Duncan Walker, managing director of Skyports.
Photo courtesy of Volocopter