Ferrovial plans for UK network of 25 vertiports

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Spanish-based infrastructure group Ferrovial, which is also an AGS airports shareholder, plans to launch a network of more than 25 vertiports across the UK in partnership with eVTOL aircraft developer Vertical Aerospace.

The initiative is a further step in Ferrovial’s bid to lead the mobility of the future through the development of infrastructure for safe, high-speed, zero carbon aviation and follows a recent agreement to develop a network of more than 10 vertiports in Florida, US.

Essential infrastructure for landing, recharging and taking off eVTOL aircraft, the vertiports will be integrated into communities and adapted to the surrounding environment, reducing noise impact and improving energy efficiency through innovative design.

Ferrovial has partnered with architecture firm Grimshaw and global engineering management and development consultancy Mott MacDonald to develop the design and engineering components of the vertiport infrastructure.

“The partnership between vertiports and eVTOLS will provide high speed, affordable, emissions-free travel to millions of people,” said Kevin Cox, CEO of Ferrovial Vertiports. “This network will boost local economies with a new model of regional connectivity.”

Ferrovial has more than 20 years’ experience of investing, developing and operating 33 airports around the world, including in the US, Australia and Chile. It currently has four airports in the UK. With the largest shareholder stake in Heathrow Airport, it is the airport’s core shareholder and industrial partner. It also partly owns Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports.


Skyports proposes vertiport to enable Advanced Air Mobility in London

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Skyports has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Brent Cross South Limited Partnership, a joint venture between Argent Related and Barnet Council in London, UK to develop a passenger air taxi vertiport at Brent Cross Town.

The £7 billion 180-acre development in north-west London, which is being regenerated as a mixed-use park town for the capital, is conveniently located to access central London hence it being selected as a prospective location for the vertiport.

While an interim vertiport could be built at Brent Cross Town as early as 2024, a permanent location would be constructed during the development phases to create the opportunity for electric passenger air taxi services between this and other Skyports vertiports in and around London and the rest of the UK.

“This exciting project is a sign of huge progress within the industry,” said Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports. “The very fact that vertiports are being planned for construction in mixed-use neighbourhoods such as Brent Cross Town demonstrates the direction in which the industry is moving and the increasing confidence in its success. Our in-house team of airport planners, regulatory experts, airspace experts, software and hardware developers remains completely focused on vertiports which are safe, practical and in locations which will make a positive impact on daily life,” he continued.

Welcoming the opportunity to work with Skyports as specialists in the planning and construction of vertiport infrastructure, Andre Gibbs, Partner at Argent Related added that “the vertiport would strengthen transport connections into and out of central London and would complement the new train station, the existing tube links, comprehensive road connectivity and cycleways.”

Skyports will work with Brent Cross Town to share market insights and developments in the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry, undertake due diligence on the site and engage with external regulatory bodies such as the UK Civil Aviation Authority and local government to obtain relevant permissions. The Brent Cross Town team alongside Barnet Council meanwhile will provide the local knowledge to allow plans to progress, as well as lead introductions with local stakeholders and contractors, and facilitate access to enable Skyports to undertake any preliminary investigative works.

Malaysia Airports collaborates with Skyports and Volocopter for vertiport study

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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.”

Consortium provides launch pad for Ireland’s advanced air mobility market

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Skyports has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Shannon Group, Future Mobility Campus Ireland and Avtrain  to establish Ireland’s first passenger and cargo vertiport.

Alongside Skyports, Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FCMI), Ireland’s first testbed for future mobility located next to Shannon Airport; Avtrain, Europe’s leading drone training and certification body; and Shannon Group’s International Aviation Services Centre, which supports and promotes one of Ireland’s largest aviation clusters located at Shannon, are all collaborating in the venture.

By joining forces the consortium will work towards launching an operational vertiport at Shannon’s FMCI campus in 2022, encouraging investment in Irelands’ Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) industry. The long-term goal is the establishment of Ireland’s first air taxi service and routine beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations.

The consortium has already begun working towards launching BVLOS proof-of-concept operations as early as September 2021. These flights will demonstrate the viability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and highlight the benefits that research and investment in AAM will bring to urban and rural areas.

“This partnership provides a launch pad for Ireland’s AAM market,” said Duncan Walker, CEO Skyports. “To be contributing at this early stage demonstrates the criticality of vertiport infrastructure to the success of the industry. Participating alongside a group of such high calibre organisations puts us in a strong position to kick-start the project, providing the perfect mix of expertise to make our AAM plans a reality.”

Meanwhile, Russell Vickers, CEO at Future Mobility Campus Ireland added, “Ireland and this region in particular has a huge potential to shape future research and development of AAM. Development of a vertiport in conjunction with a UAV testing area provides a natural extension to the capabilities of the Future Mobility Campus. The ecosystem continues to grow thanks to the vision and belief of our partners.”