Malaysia Airports announced today that it has signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Skyports, the world-leading designer and operator of vertiport infrastructure for electric air taxis, and Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM). As a first step, the parties will combine their distinct aerospace and aviation expertise to conduct a feasibility study examining suitable vertiport solutions to enable the safe take-off and landing of passenger eVTOL vehicles, considering factors such as demand, customer flow, and how to integrate UAM operations.
The Asia Pacific region is expected to capture around 45% of the advanced air mobility (AAM) market by 2035, translating to $9.5 billion (USD). The outcome of this venture will be a game-changer in terms of air travel offerings. The collaboration forms part of the five-year Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang (LTSAAS) Regeneration plan. It will explore the deployment of revolutionary electric air taxi services at LTSAAS as well as other locations throughout Malaysia, putting the country amongst the leaders in the region in terms of willingness to implement UAM.
Malaysia Airports’ Group CEO, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, said: “Air taxi technology and revolution is the next big thing that we want to see happen in Malaysian aviation. With LTSAAS offering a synergistic ecosystem within the aviation and aerospace sectors, it is timely for us to explore this new service as it complements other key developments of the regeneration initiative. Volocopter and Skyports are both leaders in their respective fields of advanced air mobility and we hope to further futureproof LTSAAS’s position in Asia Pacific by catering to research, assembly, manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) in addition to air taxi operations. Our objective is to provide end to end, mid to high value capabilities and solutions that are anchored by top tier operators.
“LTSAAS Regeneration will offer various development opportunities to aviation and aerospace players worldwide thus echoing the government’s original intent to turn LTSAAS into both an international aerospace centre and business aviation hub.”
Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports, said: “Malaysia Airports’ ambitions for future proofing Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport and implementing electric air taxi services throughout Malaysia align with Skyports’ ambitions to deliver UAM in the Asia Pacific market. The feasibility study will allow us to explore all the elements needed to create a future air mobility model that could be deployed across the region. Our track record of success with Volocopter combined with a wealth of experience and Malaysia Airports’ objectives, make this an exciting initiative.”
“The Southeast Asian Market is one of the largest and most interesting ones for UAM due to its geographical layout and dense population. Our feasibility study will help give us insights on demand, customer expectations, and airport integration, which we can apply to other markets in the region.”, says Christian Bauer, CCO of Volocopter. “Having expert partners like Skyports and LTSAAS understanding the local needs, is decisive in bringing revolutionary technologies like electric air taxis to new markets.”
Skyports is the world’s leading advanced air mobility infrastructure provider. In partnership with Volocopter, Skyports was the first to build a full-scale passenger air taxi vertiport – the take-off and landing infrastructure for eVTOL aircraft – which was launched as part of a trial that took place in Singapore in 2019. Skyports currently has infrastructure projects in development elsewhere in Asia, as well as in Europe and North America. Among the roles of Skyports in this tripartite MoU includes exploring the development and operations of vertiports at airports operated by Malaysia Airports, which are subjected to the agreed business and development model. Vertiports are areas designed specifically for eVTOL aircraft to take off and land.
Meanwhile, Volocopter is the only eVTOL developer with a product portfolio of multicopter and fixed-wing designs that can be used for passenger air taxis and cargo transportation. They take a holistic approach to UAM by developing an entire ecosystem that connects the necessary components to offer electric flight in cities. Their track record includes designing and pioneering the first piloted and fully electric air taxi in the world. Volocopter’s role is to assess the deployment of eVTOL aircraft and operations of urban air taxi services from vertiports at LTSAAS.
About Malaysia Airports
Malaysia Airports is one of the world’s largest airport operator groups in terms of number of passengers handled. It manages and operates 39 airports in Malaysia and one international airport in Istanbul, Turkey. The 39 airports in Malaysia comprise five international airports, 16 domestic airports and 18 Short Take-Off and Landing Ports (STOLports). Its flagship airport, KL International Airport (IATA Code: KUL) is among the region’s preferred aviation hub.
Apart from operating and managing airports, the Group also drives airport development under its Aeropolis initiative focusing on three core clusters: air cargo and logistics, aerospace and aviation, and MICE and leisure.
Its flagship airport, KLIA, is currently set up to be a regional distribution centre for eCommerce with the presence of the first global eWTP (electronic world trade platform) hub. Meanwhile, Lapangan Terbang Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah (LTSAAS) or better known as Subang Airport is being developed into a preferred aerospace and business aviation hub in Asia Pacific. It is currently the 2nd most preferred in Asia and 4th globally for business aviation MRO.
The LTSAAS Regeneration Plan is centred on the key areas of aerospace, business aviation and urban community airport to further Malaysia’s aspiration in becoming the No.1 aerospace nation in the region.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad is listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad (Bursa Malaysia).
For more information on MAHB, please visit www.malaysiaairports.com.my.
Skyports is a leading enabler of advanced air mobility (AAM) and provides the critical link between the ground and the sky. The company designs, builds and operates take-off and landing infrastructure forair taxis, and partners with electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) passenger and cargo vehicle manufacturers around the world to enable safe and efficient flight operations within urban and suburban environments.
Skyports also provides drone delivery through its logistics arm, Delivery by Skyports, which is already proving the viability of the company’s best-in-class unmanned systems technologies within the medical, e-commerce and logistics sectors. This technology will be essential to the success of the wider Skyports air taxi infrastructure solution.
Based in London, United Kingdom, Skyports has projects operating in multiple continents, including in Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and Africa. Skyports investors include Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures, Groupe ADP, Irelandia Aviation and Levitate Capital.
Find out more at: www.skyports.net
Volocopter is building the world’s first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility business to bring affordable air taxi services to megacities worldwide. With the VoloCity, the company is developing the first fully electric “eVTOL” aircraft in certification to transport passengers safely and quietly within cities. Volocopter leads and cooperates with partners in infrastructure, operations, and air traffic management to build the ecosystem necessary to ‘Bring Urban Air Mobility to Life’.
In 2011, Volocopter performed the first-ever crewed flight of a purely electric multicopter and has since showcased numerous public flights with its full-scale aircraft. The most notable have been the public test flights at Singapore’s Marina Bay in October 2019 and the world’s first autonomous eVTOL flight in Dubai 2017. Volocopter is also developing products for the logistics space with their heavy-lift cargo variant, the VoloDrone.
Founded in 2011 by Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel, Volocopter has 400 employees in offices in Bruchsal, Munich, and Singapore. The company has raised a total of €322 million in equity. Volocopter‘s investors include Daimler, Geely, DB Schenker, BlackRock, and Intel Capital amongst others.
Find out more at: www.volocopter.com