Welcome to the #UAMglossary! We’re here today with an explanation of the word “vertiport” and its meaning for Volocopter and the world of eVTOL.
Vertiports (a compound of “vertical” and “port”) can be roughly described as airports for electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL). Structurally, however, they are quite different than the airports you might be familiar with. Normal airports need runways for the planes to start/land and a lot of additional infrastructures to accommodate air travel in general. Vertiports, on the other hand, can do without most of that. For comparison: An average city airport covers around 1,500 to 3,000 hectares (3700 to 7400 acres) of land. A fully functioning vertiport starts at only 625 square meters (6,727 square feet) or 0.06 hectares (0.15 acres) but can easily be scaled up as needed.
Technically speaking, an eVTOL aircraft like the VoloCity could land in any open space, from a car park to a rooftop. Existing infrastructure such as helipads and normal airports are even better and can easily be utilized to start operations. But a vertiport is much more than just a landing site. It also serves as a customer service point and, in our case, plays an important part in maintaining the aircraft through the battery swap and management systems. Furthermore, if placed at strategic points in the city such as main stations and city centers, vertiports have the power to bridge the mobility gap efficiently.
Vertiports & Volocopter
To us, vertiports are an essential part of the urban air experience we want to provide. Our aircraft and services will be the epitome of convenience, so our VoloPort vertiports will, of course, have to meet the same standards. To achieve this level of seamlessness, efficiency, and comfort, we have chosen to build our ground infrastructure ourselves. Together with our well-versed partners, we have created a concept that matches our aircraft perfectly but is still agnostic and open for other eVTOLs. What’s more: Working with Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA), as well as the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE), ASTM International, and General Aviation Manufacture’s Association (GAMA), we are proactively driving the development of standardized vertiports around the world.
And we already know it works. As the first vertiport demo case worldwide, we built and introduced our first VoloPort prototype in Singapore back in 2019. This means we are now able to focus on establishing and developing the process surrounding the distribution of our VoloPorts further. We are looking forward to making them a standard feature of cities around the world.
We’ll see you here again soon for our next article! If you’re too excited to wait, check out the rest of our website, our Volocopter Newsroom, or the Volocopter Newsletter for more good reads!
Your Volocopter Crew