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Mon June 17 2019

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Plans unveiled for Singapore air taxi hub

29 May UK-based Skyports is joining forces with Volocopter to build a prototype of a specialised airport dedicated to air taxis.

The Volo-Port, which will be built in Singapore, will provided the physical landing pads for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL). Brandlab together with Graft Architects and Arup won the Volocopter tender to produce the Volo-Port design.

The team said that ground-based vertiport infrastructure is critical to the success of future urban air mobility (UAM), including air taxi operations in congested cities. The partners plan to build the first Volo-Port in Singapore for the scheduled public flight trials in the second half of 2019.

The Volo-Port prototype will:

  • enable real-life testing of the full customer journey;
  • showcase planned customer services, including pre-flight checks, passenger lounges and boarding procedures;
  • allow practical testing of ground operations and services, including battery swaps and charging, maintenance, safety and security;
  • provide the opportunity for authorities and industry regulators to interact with the infrastructure and provide feedback before they are asked to approve the final design.

“Receiving the commercial licence for air taxi aircraft is a question of time not possibility,” says Alex Zosel, co-Founder of Volocopter. “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.”

Skyports managing director Duncan Walker added: “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 analysed the available spaces and movement dynamics in city centres 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.”

Brandlab co-founder and CEO Linda Stannieder said: “Mobility patterns in cities worldwide are changing rapidly – seamless transitions from one mode to another are crucial for transport efficiencies and changing passenger demands. Our design of the architecture, as well as all services along the whole customer journey, link ground to air infrastructure in the smoothest way possible. Passengers experience the connection to the sky through our design. We aim to build trust and create excitement.”

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