An exploration of how our head APAC office is unlocking UAM’s potential in Singapore – and beyond.
Public acceptance efforts geared toward garnering greater support for urban air mobility (UAM) in Singapore are well underway at Volocopter’s Asia-Pacific headquarters in the city-state. Since publishing our Singapore Roadmap one year ago, the Lion City has been abuzz with outreach efforts and awareness campaigns. Volocopter, with its trio of aircraft, aims to supplement the city’s existing urban mobility solutions by offering an additional layer of transportation, with point-to-point connections set to further enhance the Singapore transit system as it stands today. Here’s the latest from our APAC colleagues.
Why UAM matters to Singapore
Our Singapore Roadmap from early 2022 highlights the societal, economic, environmental, and political benefits that UAM is poised to bring to the city-state. The white paper took a deep dive into the figures – like the SGD 4.18 billion in cumulative economic benefits that Singapore is likely to achieve, and the creation of some 1,300 local jobs by 2030. On paper, it certainly sounds promising for all involved.
And the benefits don’t end there. Another of Volocopter’s goals is for the UAM company to do its part to help the country achieve its ambitious Singapore Green Plan 2030 while simultaneously acting as a force that will boost economic growth in a post-pandemic world.
The buzzword of the Singapore Green Plan is well and truly sustainable development, a topic that is also branded into the Volocopter ethos. Wherever possible, Volocopter aims to deliver on its goal of providing not only a very safe and convenient service, but also of doing this with the greatest possible regard for sustainability.
One example is climate change: with the world increasingly feeling the impact of phenomena such as this one, the time to act is most definitely now – and it’s essential to do this in keeping with the Singapore Green Plan 2030 goal of achieving a resilient future.
Public acceptance on the rise
The initial launch phase is set to see our VoloCity air taxi take to the skies for tourist flights over the city’s iconic Marina Bay, offering a unique bird’s-eye-view of the Bay and beyond. So, it’s crucial to foster public acceptance for this and other urban routes that our aircraft will fly in the initial launch phase, and later on.
Ms. Ying Wang, PR Manager for APAC, is leading the charge in terms of public acceptance efforts in this high-tech Southeast Asian megacity: “We’ve been running free public tours that feature a static model of the VoloCity air taxi mockup. They’re open to inquisitive explorers of all ages at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). I’m delighted to say that tickets have been snapped up like hot cakes! There’s so much enthusiasm for what we’re doing to step up the Singapore transit system experience, and it’s great to see such a pronounced interest in Volocopter’s vision firsthand.”
If you do happen to be in Singapore and would like to take the tour, new dates have been released. You can look out for them on this page.
Other awareness-raising avenues include a video featuring Deutsche Bank representative Jürgen Schmitt, which sees Ying giving him a tour of the VoloCity air taxi. It explains all stages of the future customer journey and looks at the steps a passenger will take aboard the air taxi to complete journeys post-launch. Not only does it bring a flight in this future-forward air taxi to life, it also highlights just how far Volocopter has come in terms of building this game-changing tech. From scratch. The video also offers an opportunity to those not based in Singapore to view the VoloCity aircraft and exhibition from the comfort of their own homes.
Further public acceptance efforts crystallized into a marketing-led late-2022 influencer campaign run in collaboration with four local influencers, including Paul Foster, an actor, model, and host. The campaign reaped an impressive 10% engagement rate – a result five times higher than anticipated!
Impressively, Volocopter’s Singapore office has conducted a total of 23 public tours, reaching no less than 655 people, with a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 64. Very promising figures as the company lays the groundwork for its scheduled launch next year (2024).
No further public acceptance initiatives are in the pipeline for Singapore at this time. Volocopter is currently focusing on its attendance at major events and airshows in the APAC (Asia-Pacific) region and across the wider world. Recent events in APAC, such as the Volocopter showcase in Osaka, Japan, generated plenty of interest in our future products and services.
Volocopter SG in the limelight
While the public’s interest in UAM grows, Volocopter is accepting invitations to many public events, to share the latest on its contribution to the nascent UAM industry and shed light on its in-house developments and overall progress, e.g., toward achieving aircraft certification.
These efforts are being spearheaded by Head of APAC Mr. Hon Lung Chu. Notable appearances include those at GreenTech Festival, Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology, Global Industry Showference (Seoul), and City-Tech.Tokyo.
Meanwhile, further progress has been made on the regulatory front, where Mr. Lung Chu shared Volocopter’s progress in APAC at the EU-Asia Symposium on UAS-UAM in October 2022 and ICAO Air Transport Regulation Panel Working Group Meeting in February 2023. The ICAO delegates also visited Volocopter’s UAM showcase at ITE College Central, an important moment as regards the future of Volocopter’s collaboration with regulatory authorities.
Ms. Wang, also joined a panel discussion at the recent Women in Aviation International Singapore Chapter (WIA SG): “It was inspiring to see that the audiences were super excited about this futuristic mode of transportation, and raised their hands without hesitation when asked whether they were willing to try it when it is launched in Singapore. What a fantastic event!”
Volocopter has come a long way since its initial public awareness-raising efforts were kickstarted back in 2019, when the company conducted a test flight over Singapore’s skies.
Singapore & beyond
But it’s not just in Singapore that Volocopter plans to launch its services. The company’s ambitions extend to other nearby nations, such as Japan, China, and South Korea. “It’s so motivating to see how everyone on the Volocopter team, across all sites, has such an open mindset, what with their willingness to accept feedback and work on developing the business,” reports Ying. “I’m referring to the efforts being made on joint ventures, with cross-country and cross-time zone collaboration. Synchronized work really is what helps us to keeps things moving forward in the name of UAM.”
Overall, Volocopter’s aspirations for the Lion City and its environs are growing stronger by the month, with further potential collaborations and partnerships in the works. And with urban air mobility poised to take to the city’s skies in the coming years, future flights in its lower airspace will add an extra layer of clean tech to the city-state’s already green-forward ambitions. A worthy cause indeed.