Nexa Teams With VFS To Support Urban Air Mobility Growth

 - July 15, 2020, 11:51 AM
UAM Geomatics uses 3D modeling to provide detailed analysis of what it will take to establish urban air mobility services in cities around the world. [Graphic: UAM Geomatics]

The Vertical Flight Society (VFS) has teamed with Nexa Advisors to form a new company, UAM Geomatics, that will promote the development and operation of eVTOL aircraft and the infrastructure required to support them in applications such as urban air mobility. The Virginia-based company will produce data and research to guide prospective investors and stakeholders, including the Urban Air Mobility—Economics and Global Markets 2020-2040 study, which will now be produced each quarter.

The study has previously been produced solely by Nexa Advisors, which is a division of the Nexa Capital partners investment bank. UAM Geomatics intends to expand the data sets including new three-dimensional models of some of the cities identified as possible early adopters of eVTOL air-taxi services.

Each study provides updated forecasts for 75 metropolitan areas around the world, including projected costs for aircraft, infrastructure, air traffic management, as well as revenue by market for services including airport shuttles, on-demand air taxi rides, and emergency medical support. This is supported by interactive online databases with ArcGIS maps of each city including thousands of geocoded data features, such as heliports, hospitals, corporate head offices, and power grid infrastructure.

UAM Geomatics president Eleanor Herman explained that the added models for some cities in the study have been created from stereo-orthophoto satellite maps to enable three-dimensional airspace design of new vertiport locations, tunnels in space, and noise acoustics.

“Before VFS members can sell aircraft to operators, sophisticated infrastructure must be in place–not just vertiports but also unmanned traffic management systems,” said Nexa Advisors managing partner Michael Dyment. “UAM Geomatics has modeled the costs of deployment for this infrastructure for all 75 cities.”

According to the VFS, which in recent years has significantly expanded the scope of its activities beyond just helicopters, there are as many as 300 eVTOL aircraft at various stages of development. “We estimate that a billion dollars a year is currently being invested in this sector,” said the group’s executive director Mike Hirschberg. “The toolsets provided through UAM Geomatics can greatly accelerate the realization of profitable eVTOL operations in metropolitan areas.”

This story comes from the new FutureFlight.aero resource developed by AIN to provide objective, independent coverage, and analysis of new aviation technology, including electric aircraft developments.