Malaysia Airports has signed a tripartite MoU with Skyports, a designer and operator of vertiport infrastructure for electric air taxis, and Volocopter, the German pioneer of UAM. As a first step, the parties will combine their distinct aerospace and aviation expertise to conduct a feasibility study examining suitable vertiport solutions to enable the safe take-off and landing of passenger eVTOL vehicles, considering factors such as demand, customer flow and how to integrate UAM operations.
The Asia Pacific region is expected to capture around 45 per cent of the advanced air mobility (AAM) market by 2035, translating to US$9.5 billion. The outcome of this venture is expected to be a game-changer in terms of air travel offerings. The collaboration forms part of the five-year Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah airport, Subang regeneration plan. It will explore the deployment of revolutionary electric air taxi services at LTSAAS as well as other locations throughout Malaysia, putting the country amongst the leaders in the region in terms of willingness to implement UAM.
Malaysia Airports' group CEO Dato' Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh says: “Air taxi technology and revolution are the next big things that 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. Volocopter and Skyports are both leaders in their respective fields of advanced air mobility, and we hope to further future-proof LTSAAS's position in Asia Pacific by catering to research, assembly, manufacturing, 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. 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.”
Skyports CEO Duncan Walker adds: “Malaysia Airports' ambitions for future proofing Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah airport and implementing electric air taxi services throughout Malaysia align with our 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. 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.”, says Christian Bauer, CCO of Volocopter. “Having expert partners like Skyports and LTSAAS understanding the local needs, is decisive in bringing revolutionary technologies like electric air taxis to new markets.”