Last week, Siemens shared that it is collaborating with Skyway to develop vertiports and to evaluate the necessary infrastructure—particularly electrical and digital—for supporting vertiport operations. Vertiports are locations where advanced air mobility (AAM) vehicles such as drones and electric air taxis can take off and land, similar to a heliport or helipad.
Both Siemens and Skyway are conducting research to evaluate the energy demands that vertiports will have. The collaborative effort also involves development of a “system of systems” to support aircraft operations in addition to a sustainable electrical supply and standard charging processes. These developments and research are important for AAM to scale up, especially for new types of aircraft like electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles.
According to the announcement, each company brings expertise in certain areas that will be valuable for developing, planning, and constructing vertiports as well as operating them. Skyway’s strengths include “vast knowledge of airspace mission planning and management, air traffic navigation, and unmanned aircraft operations.” Siemens’ team possesses infrastructure expertise in the areas of vehicle charging, electrification, and facility operations.
Clifford Cruz, CEO of Skyway, remarked on the collaboration with Siemens: “Sustainable energy solutions will be the foundation and the necessity for adoption of Urban Air Mobility with the electrification of eVTOL aircraft. Combining our companies’ resources and industry foresight can influence vertiport construction efforts and general UAM [urban air mobility] solutions on an industry-wide scale while setting a new precedent for modern transportation.”
John Kasuda, Head of Airports at Siemens Smart Infrastructure North America, also commented on the new partnership, saying that the fast turnaround times that eVTOLs are expected to have will require innovative solutions in the development of infrastructure and operating vertiports efficiently.
Skyway is also partnering with Eve Air Mobility, a company developing an eVTOL aircraft for UAM operations. Their collaboration—announced in October—involves integration of Eve’s solution for urban air traffic management into Skyway’s air traffic vertiport operation service offerings.
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