Following the debut of a prototype “VoloPort” in Singapore, the German eVTOL developer Volocopter said it will continue its partnership with U.K.-based Skyports as it works toward the launch of commercial air taxi services in Singapore and beyond.
The companies unveiled their full-scale air taxi passenger vertiport on Oct. 21 at the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress, part of a larger planned urban air mobility (UAM) demonstration including an exhibition flight.
According to Duncan Walker, managing director of Skyports, “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.”
For the ITS World Congress, Volocopter and Skyports built their VoloPort prototype on the Float at Marina Bay, an enormous floating stage. The companies said their VoloPort “demonstrates numerous capabilities to support a smooth customer journey as well as operational processes,” allowing “industry leaders and the public to understand what they might expect when using a VoloPort in the near future.” The modular design can be adapted to fit rooftops, railway stations, parking lots, and other metropolitan locations, and will accommodate a wide range of electric air taxis, the partners said.
“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,” stated Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter in a press release. “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.”
In support of its expansion plans, Volocopter opened an office in Singapore in January 2019 and has started to build up a local team. Skyports followed suit in September 2019 and said it will be hiring full-time local staff in early 2020.