Skyports Ltd., a UK-based company has submitted plans to the Singapore government for approval for the world’s first “vertiport” for electric aircraft in Singapore. According to analysts, this is a first step between to the company and the government towards creating and launching a network for flying taxis in Singapore.
The full designs and plans for the vertiport will be revealed during the ‘Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress” from October 21 to 25 that will take place in Singapore. One of the demonstrators / exhibitors at event will be Germany’s Volocopter an 18-blade electric aircraft, that will provide demonstration flights.
Duncan Walker, Managing Director of Skyports said, “Helicopters have been around a long time but they’re not well used, particularly in cities, because they’re noisy, dangerous and polluting. We’re really trying to make it a form of transportation for anybody, not just the extremely wealthy.”
|An 18-blade German Volocopter flying taxi could be serving Singapore in the future|
Skyports built its first, mobile Volo-port in China then took it apart to be re-assembled in Singapore near the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The Volo-Port features ground-based vertiport infrastructure that comprises physical landing pads for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVtol) aircraft, which includes air taxis.
During the demonstration of the Volo-port and Volocopter during the upcoming conference, visitors will be able to sit inside the aircraft on the ground, while test pilots will take the Volocopter on test flights. The goals of the demonstrations is to see how the public reacts to the concept of fly taxis, whether they think the Volocopter is too loud, and whether they would feel safe flying in it.
A Citigroup report in September 2018 said that the bank expects designers to keep evolving the technology and working with regulators so they can start to offer regular air taxi services from 2025. They estimate that the Singapore market for air taxis that could be worth $5 billion SGD by the end of the next decade.