Australia-based advanced air mobility infrastructure developer Skyportz today opened its property partner database to accept registrations anywhere in the world from potential vertiport locations. It also revealed a modular vertiport at the recent World Air Taxi Congress in Istanbul, Turkey that is able to be shipped to any location.
Designed by Contreras Earl Architecture in Australia with site specific input from civil engineering firm Arup and aviation consultancy to70, these beautiful sculptural buildings can be deployed in components packed into shipping containers anywhere in the world. Electric aircraft developer Beta Technologies will provide battery charging infrastructure suitable for almost any aircraft that might utilise the vertiport. The first Australian vertiport partnership is at Caribbean Park business park in Melbourne.
“With the development of a vertiport in a business park we are breaking the nexus between aviation and airports. For this industry to succeed it needs to have policy makers and property owners pushing the envelope to support new 'mini airports' in locations people want to go,” says CEO Clem Newton-Brown. "The Caribbean Park design is for three active pads and multiple charging bays. This announcement today is about bringing to the world the same incredible design with options for a more compact and affordable unit that can shipped and installed in advance of the aircraft operating.
“We are already getting interest from existing helipad networks operated by tourism operators such as Microflite in Australia. Skyportz can provide a branded network with Beta charging facilities ready to operate as soon as the eVTOL aircraft are available. Another good application is retrofitting existing buildings and multi-level car parking garages. The vertiports can be used for other purposes for now, such as event spaces, cafes, bars or meetings rooms, and be ready for aviation activation when the time is right.”
Helicopter operator Microflite placed an initial order for up to 40 eVTOL aircraft from Eve in February this year, which the two companies will use as a proof of concept to validate parameters for future eVTOL operations across a network of potential routes.
Newton-Brown emphasises the urgency for the property industry and policy makers to enable vertiport networks to be established: “The frontrunners have had over $10 billion invested into aircraft development in the last year. This investment needs to be doubled down into vertiport infrastructure if the business cases are to be realised. There is no point developing these aircraft if they can't land in new locations.”
Nowhere in the world has any jurisdiction set out definitive rules, regulations and standards for new vertiports he continues: “Skyportz is offering the property industry a chance to get on the front foot and instal these lightweight, affordable vertiports in advance of being able to actually use them. We don't need to wait for the policy makers; these buildings can be used for other purposes for now and will be on site and ready to be activated for aviation in the future. With our vertiport database growing daily we can assemble networks of sites in any launch market sought by investors.”
Contreras Earl Architecture director Rafael Contreras says: "Using advanced technology, we developed an efficient modular design made with recyclable aluminium. The system is lightweight, prefabricated and assembled on site, so that it can be adapted and configured for a broad range of settings and scaled for mass production.”
“Not all sites will be suitable for vertiports, as an urban environment presents all sorts of challenges for aviation. We will be assessing potential sites based on the information that is available now from regulators and aircraft OEMs,” adds to70 senior aviation consultant Phil Owen.
Arup aviation skills leader Ronan Delaney says: "These facilities incorporate many elements that will be found in a modern airport terminal, as well as other considerations that are emerging in this industry. Passenger experience, baggage handling, security screening, fire engineering, battery charging infrastructure, transport network planning and acoustic/environmental impacts are all examples of what needs to be incorporated into vertiport designs.”