Last week, Volocopter revealed a fully integrated vertiport terminal for urban air mobility operations of the future. The vertiport was shared via a launch event which provided an opportunity to demonstrate the end-to-end passenger journey, from arrival at the vertiport terminal to aircraft boarding.
The vertiport testbed will be located at Pontoise-Cormeilles, was designed by Skyports in collaboration with Groupe ADP, and will be aircraft agnostic. Volocopter plans to utilize this new vertiport as a chance to test the full vertical integration of aerial mobility ecosystem. Most importantly, it facilitates collaboration between the key ecosystem partners, including technology pioneers, regulators and local partners such as the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC), suppliers and airlines. The vertiport will specifically enable testing of:
- Vehicle integration, ground movement procedures, and charging procedures
- Flight scheduling, situational awareness, and information exchange
- Passenger journey through the terminal, including security and check-in processes, biometric technologies (provided by SITA), passenger dwell time, and aircraft boarding.
A model of the VoloCity, which is being developed as Volocopter’s first certified aircraft for commercial services, was featured at the launch in addition to a crewed test flight of the 2X model – the only aircraft currently authorized for eVTOL test flights in France. The series of demonstrations by Skyports and Volocopter also featured displays of flight monitoring capabilities and digital operating systems, including Skyports’ vertiport operating systems and the VoloIQ.
Why it’s important: Volocopter’s partnership with Skyports and Groupe ADP will serve to advance integration testing for aerial mobility efforts of the future and also flush out advanced higher level operational challenges of vertiport implementation. While a great deal of these advances can be simulated and evaluated via analysis, representative testing of the end-to-end operational spectrum within aerial mobility and the associated checkouts of full (or representative) missions will help better prepare the industry for initial rollout of urban air mobility services.