Volo-Port by Graft Architects to become operational by the second half of 2019
Aerial taxi company Volocopter unveiled designs for its proposed Volo-Port, the first dedicated airport for flying taxis, in May 2019. Volocopter partnered with Skyports, a company focused on building and operating critical infrastructure for urban air mobility (UAM) and drone deliveries, to create the first landing and operations base for aerial taxi operations.
According to Construction Week, the Volo-Port is due to become operational by the second half of 2019, and is scheduled to conduct public flight trials following launch.
The Volo-Ports will be the world's first dedicated ‘vertiports’, which provide the physical landing pads for electric take-off and landing vehicles and passenger facilities.
Volocopter said the launch of this first vertiport will allow for real-life testing of the passenger experience. The facility will also be used for practical testing of ground operations, including battery swaps and charging, maintenance, safety, and security.
The facility also provides the opportunity for authorities and industry regulators to interact with the infrastructure and provide feedback on designs.
The prototype Volo-Port was designed by Brandlab, with a design that is intended to merge with its surroundings, allowing passengers and passers-by to see through the whole structure.
Brandlab, Graft Architects, and Arup were awarded Volocopter's international tender to produce the Volo-Port design.
“Receiving the commercial license for taxi aircraft is a question of time, not possibility," Alex Zosel, co-founder of Volocopter, said.
"We are thus focusing on shaping the necessary ecosystem around UAM, including air traffic management, city regulation, and the take-off and landing infrastructure. It takes visionary partners like Skyports and Brandlab willing to make investments to actively shape the future.
“Once regulation comes through on the aviation and city level — and this will be sooner than most think — we will be ready to take off.”
Duncan Walker, managing director of Skyports, said each Volo-Port would be designed to function as a standalone or integrated unit, allowing for rapid deployment and scalability.
He added: “We have analysed the available spaces and movement dynamics in city centres across the world and recognise that infrastructure is a key enabler for the emerging UAM market.”
Commenting on the Volo-Port, Brandlab's co-founder and chief executive officer, Linda Stannieder, said: “Mobility patterns in cities worldwide are changing rapidly — seamless transitions from one mode to another are crucial for transport efficiencies and changing passenger demands.
"Our design of the architecture, as well as all services along the whole customer journey, link ground to air infrastructure in the smoothest way possible. Passengers experience the connection to the sky through our design. We aim to build trust and create excitement.”