A EUR1.5 million (USD1.7 million) temporary Volo-Port terminal for the Volocopter air taxi is to be built in Marine Bay, Singapore, by late 2019 for flight and customer experience testing.
The urban air mobility (UAM) terminal will be a single take-off and landing point for Volocopter flight tests, and the building will be open to the public for feedback from potential users. The Volocopter, an electrically powered vertical take-off and landing aircraft with 18 small rotors, carries two passengers and a pilot. UK-based Skyports is the UAM infrastructure design partner for the Volo-Port. The plan is to disassemble the terminal after several weeks in Singapore, and then transport it to another city for further demonstrations. However, a permanent Singapore terminal is expected by 2021, with an island-wide network a longer-term goal.
“We are talking to landowners in Singapore,” said Skyports managing director Duncan Walker, although he accepted that the 2021 timetable is dependent on factors beyond their control, such as traffic management regulations.
Skyports expects to construct Volo-Ports in landside areas at airports, but UAM terminals are more likely to be built in city centres. Walker explained that his company will offer a scalable terminal design to other urban air taxi providers and operators. He added that the scale of a terminal is only limited by the available air traffic capacity and land availability.
The terminal design includes a circular section of roof that would act as a lift. This is for sites where there is no space for a landing spot adjacent to the terminal. Walker said that the tests in late 2019 are timed to coincide with major international events in Singapore, at which the Volo-Port would be advertised and people would be encouraged to visit. With customer feedback, he expects the terminal design to evolve over time.
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