by Michael Willoughby
The world’s first full-scale air taxi vertiport, or “VoloPort,” has been unveiled at the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in Singapore.
The VoloPort is the outcome of a collaboration between air taxi developer Volocopter and Skyports, the vertiport developer, owner and operator. The two plan to continue their partnership with the aim of introducing commercial air taxi services in Singapore and beyond.
Duncan Walker, Managing Director of Skyports, said: “The VoloPort is an important step towards establishing an entire air taxi solution in Singapore. Skyports has identified a number of potential VoloPort locations and air taxi routes across the city state. We look forward to the next stage of our exciting partnership with Volocopter as we work towards the introduction of commercial air taxi services in the city state.”
Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter, added: “There are three major aspects that need to be in place for urban air mobility to become reality: the aircraft, the infrastructure, and the necessary regulation for both. Standing inside the VoloPort makes urban air mobility feel extremely real and demonstrates that air taxi operations are not a faraway future, but very feasible to achieve within the next two to five years. Today marks a fantastic step forward!”
As part of the ITS World Congress, Volocopter and Skyports have built up the VoloPort prototype on the Float at Marina Bay. During the conference, numerous visitors are expected at the VoloPort, including representatives from the EU Commission, the EASA, and the Ministry of Transport of various countries.
The prototype VoloPort will demonstrate capabilities to support smooth customer journeys as well as operational processes. It is designed to show industry and the public what they might expect when using a VoloPort in the near future.
The VoloPort has a modular design which makes it adaptable to fit rooftops, railway stations, parking lots and other urban locations.
Ground-based infrastructure is considered critical to the success of urban air mobility. VoloPorts are said to be the only physical infrastructure required for so-called eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) passenger air taxis to take off and land and aim to be a vital means of establishing commercial operations in urban environments.