Volocopter Unveils VoloPort eVTOL Base in Singapore

 - October 21, 2019, 2:45 PM
A Volocopter 2X eVTOL aircraft parked in the mockup for the German manufacturer's planned VoloPort in Singapore. Photo credit: Chen Chuanren.

Urban air mobility pioneer Volocopter today unveiled a full-scale mockup of a VoloPort, which it intends to use to allow passengers to board and disembark from its VoloCity electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The German company introduced the VoloPort structure with its British partner Skyport in Singapore during the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress.

On Tuesday, Volocopter plans to conduct the first public flight with its Volocopter 2X prototype in the Asia-Pacific region. The VoloCity production aircraft will be based on the 2X.

VoloPort is described as an "air taxi vertiport" that will be built in cities where eVTOL are used for public transportation. Skyports managing director Duncan Walker, explained that, together with Volocopter and local authorities, it has identified some transportation "pain points" in various cities and came up with potential routes that would work with eVTOL service.

In the densely populated island state of Singapore, these include ship-shore ferry, tourism sightseeing, and ferry between downtown Marina Bay to the island resort of Sentosa at the south of Singapore. According to Walker, Voloports will be different in each city, but he estimated that each facility will be around 27,000 sq ft and comply with ICAO Annex 14 airport design and operations. Skyport is working with various stakeholders to make it a "multimodal" form of transport that will include ground transportation to and from the Vertiport.

Besides a launch pad for the aircraft, each Voloport will have its biometric check-in counter, a flight operation room, battery charging stations, waiting lounge, and security access points. Its modular design can also be easily adapted to fit rooftops, railway stations, parking lots, and other metropolitan locations.

Meanwhile, Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter said the 2X has been conducting test flights at Singapore Seletar Airport, away from the public’s eyes, for “days if not weeks,” to get local approval based on its anticipated European type certification. He said the October 22 demonstration will show regulators how safely the aircraft can be operated, paving the way for future projects in Asia.