Malaysia Airports has agreed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Skyports, designer and operator of vertiport infrastructure for electric air taxis, and Volocopter, the pioneer of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) to conduct a feasibility study for vertiport deployment in Malaysia.
The collaboration forms part of the five-year Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang Regeneration plan (LTSAAS) and will explore the deployment of revolutionary electric air taxi services at LTSAAS as well as other locations throughout Malaysia. As a first step, the three parties will combine their aerospace and aviation expertise to conduct a feasibility study examining suitable vertiport solutions to enable the safe take-off and landing of passenger eVOTL vehicles, considering factors such as demand, customer flow, and how to integrate UAM operations.
With the Asia Pacific region expected to capture around 45% of the advanced air mobility (AAM) market by 2035, this equates to around $9.5 billion. As such, the outcome of this tripartite venture will be a game-changer in terms of air travel offerings.
“Air taxi technology and revolution is the next big thing we want to see happen in Malaysian aviation. With LTSAAS offering a synergistic ecosystem within the aviation and aerospace sectors, it is timely for us to explore this new service as it complements other key developments of the regeneration initiative,” said Malaysia Airports’ Group CEO, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh.
“Volocopter and Skyports are both leaders in their respective fields of advanced air mobility and we hope to further futureproof LTSAAS’s position in Asia Pacific by catering to research, assembly, manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) in addition to air taxi operations. Our objective is to provide end to end, mid to high value capabilities and solutions that are anchored by top tier operators,” Salleh added.
LTSAAS Regeneration will offer various development opportunities to aviation and aerospace players worldwide thus echoing the government’s original intent to turn LTSAAS into both an international aerospace centre and business aviation hub.
Meanwhile, Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports, added:
Malaysia Airports’ ambitions for future proofing Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport and implementing electric air taxi services throughout Malaysia align with Skyports’ ambitions to deliver UAM in the Asia Pacific market. The feasibility study will allow us to explore all the elements needed to create a future air mobility model that could be deployed across the region. Our track record of success with Volocopter, combined with a wealth of experience and Malaysia Airports’ objectives, make this an exciting initiative.
Christian Bauer, CCO of Volocopter, remarked that the Southeast Asian Market is one of the largest and most interesting ones for UAM due to its geographical layout and dense population. “Our feasibility study will help give us insights on demand, customer expectations, and airport integration, which we can apply to other markets in the region.”