Volocopter has announced a partnership with Skyport to create the first mobile “Volo-Port” for air taxis by the end of 2019. With designs provided by Brandlab, the aim of the Volo-Port is to provide an eVTOL-exclusive landing pad for air taxi operations in cities. Construction of the first Volo-Port will be initiated in Singapore in time for public flight trials in the latter half of 2019.
According to Volocopter’s press release, the prototype Volo-Port will provide opportunities to observe and improve interactions with passengers, ground operators, authorities and industry regulators in order to craft the ideal flight experience. The prototype will specifically enable testing of procedures and interactions, emulating the features of an airport, such as pre-flight checks, boarding procedures, maintenance and security.
A vertiport is the most critical physical infrastructure needed to initiate air taxi operations in urban areas, and will likely be the sole point of interaction between customers and air taxis. Versatility and a sleek appearance are both key features of the Volo-Port. According to Volocopter’s press release, Volo-Ports will be “designed to provide passengers with a seamless air taxi experience that is safe, secure, and relaxing. They will merge with their surroundings, allowing passengers and passers-by to see through the whole structure”.
According to Alex Zosel, co-founder of Volocopter, “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 UAM including air traffic management, city regulation and the take-off and landing infrastructure. It takes visionary partners like Skyports and Brandlabs willing to make investments to actively shape the future of urban air mobility.”
“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.”
Why it’s important: With the 2020s drawing closer the designs of many air taxis are being finalized. Many companies have announced their intention to launch air taxi services in the early 2020s, and as result the need for infrastructure is becoming more imminent. The Skyports Volo-Port, as one of the world’s first air taxi ports, will provide critical insights into infrastructure design.
Sources // Volocopter Press Release