Several companies worldwide, including the Lilium GmbH and Boeing, are working on the development of passenger drones. The existence of an appropriate take-off and landing infrastructure is crucial and necessary for bringing such electric air taxis into operation in cities.
The first prototype for a so-called Urban Air Mobility infrastructure called VoloPort has been presented at the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in Singapore. The VoloPort is the result of close cooperation between the German Urban Air Mobility pioneer Volocopter and Skyports, the operator, and the developer of Vertiports. Together, the two companies want to establish commercial air taxi services in Singapore and beyond.
The VoloPort provides a comfortable and efficient user experience with state-of-the-art technology and meets the highest safety requirements. The modular design makes it possible to integrate the basic structure of the VoloPort to fit rooftops, railway stations, parking lots, or other urban structures.
According to Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter, this “world’s first full-scale air taxi vertiport” could be ready in two to five years. The company planned that not only Volocopter can land there, one would like to open also for other electric air taxis.
In mid-September, the Bruchsal-based company had its ultra-light Volocopter equipped with 18 rotors fly over a European city for the first time. In Stuttgart, the helicopter drone made its first urban flight – but without passengers and controlled from the ground.
The launch and landing infrastructure is important for building Urban Air Mobility. VoloPorts are the only necessary and critical physical infrastructure to put city taxis into operation in the near future.