Skyports and Volocopter have both signed agreements with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and with JTC, developer of Seletar Aerospace Park, to explore ways in which the park can support the growth of the emerging AAM sector in Singapore.
The MoU with Skyports will explore ideas for an air taxi vertiport terminal, airside facilities and hangarage, as well as facilities to support research and development (R&D) and pilot training.
Skyports head of Asia Pacific Yun Yuan Tay says: “Singapore is a trailblazer for future mobility in the Asia Pacific region, and we are delighted to be working with the Economic Development Board and JTC to explore all the elements required to create an advanced air mobility hub at Seletar Aerospace Park. Skyports has based its Singapore operations there and can already see the potential for the facility to be integrated into a future network of vertiports.”
The MoU with Volocopter will study the feasibility of developing facilities and resources for eVTOL aircraft manufacturing and MRO activities.
“This MOU signifies a concrete step towards our commercial rollout in Singapore. We're grateful to our forward-looking partners, the Economic Development Board and JTC, for embarking on this journey with us,” says CCO Christian Bauer. “Having manufacturing and MRO facilities in Singapore, coupled with the collaboration between industry partners, government agencies and regulators, will enhance Singapore's position as a top aviation hub and a leader for AAM industry in the region.”
With the AAM industry positioned to take off amid accelerating technological breakthroughs, Singapore is pushing ahead to grow the industry locally. Over the past three years, it has been supporting trials for autonomous drones and eVTOL aircraft. In 2019, Skyports and Volocopter showcased the first full scale passenger air taxi vertiport prototype.
EDB executive vice president Tan Kong Hwee says: “Advanced air mobility is an emerging area that presents strong growth opportunities for Singapore. EDB is committed to ensuring that Singapore is well-positioned to capture these opportunities. We look forward to partnering with companies like Skyports and Volocopter to grow the AAM sector, to create good business and job opportunities for Singapore and Singaporeans.”
“With its vibrant aerospace ecosystem and purpose-built infrastructure, Seletar Aerospace Park is well placed to attract the world's top advanced air mobility players,” adds JTC assistant CEO of industry cluster group Alvin Tan. “We see potential synergies between the advanced air mobility players and the Park's key players, and look forward to facilitating collaborations. The partnerships with Skyports and Volocopter mark a new chapter in Seletar Aerospace Park's development journey, and we welcome more industry partners to join us.”
According to its Singapore Roadmap, Volocopter expects to deliver $3.1 billion in cumulative economic benefits and up to 1,300 local jobs to Singapore by 2030. The document also shares details on the potential routes, use cases and operational considerations. The initial launch will be tourist flights over Marina Bay and Sentosa, then the network will be expanded to include cross-border flights to Indonesia and Malaysia. The company envisages four to six VoloPorts in Singapore by 2030, perhaps in Marina South, Sentosa and Changi.
Bauer says: “We are excited to have progressed to the next step of our UAM journey in Singapore by presenting a roadmap that sets out further details on the business and operation plans leading up to our commercial launch in the next two years. This can only be achieved through the close collaboration we have been fostering for the last few years with the Singaporean authorities and other local partners.
“Basing our APAC headquarters in Singapore has enabled us to expand rapidly into other countries across the region. For example, we established a joint venture with Geely in China, joined the Osaka Roundtable in Japan and conducted South Korea’s first crewed public air taxi test flights. We believe the launch of UAM in Singapore will truly enhance the Lion City’s position as one of the most innovative cities in the world.”