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Aussie start-up brings eVTOL landing ports to Melbourne

written by Hannah Dowling | September 9, 2021

Melbourne-based start-up Skyportz is set to bring air taxi landing ports to Melbourne, and has announced a slew of new partnerships to support the entrance of eVTOL vehicles into the Australian market.

Skyportz is currently working with property owners to establish the landing infrastructure required for the introduction of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxis in Melbourne.

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The company said it is focused on introducing a range of Skyportz locations, from existing helipads and airports, on to key suburban and urban locations such as business parks, shopping centres, industrial sites and greenfield city fringe developments.

In the last fortnight, Skyportz has announced two major partnerships to further support the entrance of air taxis into the Australian market in the coming years.

The company has partnered with helicopter charter company Microflite in order to test and “lay the foundation” of future eVTOL transport infrastructure.

“With quieter operations we believe there will be opportunities to operate from the new range of landing sites that Skyportz is assembling,” said Rod Higgins, general manager of Microflite.

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It mimics a similar partnership struck between Microflite and Embraer’s air taxi subsidiary Eve Urban Air Mobility, in which the two companies will “validate parameters” and develop “new services and procedures” to create a safe and scalable operating environment for eVTOLs in Melbourne.

Skyportz has also announced a strategic partnership with air taxi manufacturer Electra Aero, which has developed a hybrid-electric short take-off and landing (eSTOL) urban air mobility vehicle.

The two will work together to bring Electra Aero’s eSTOL vehicle solutions to the Australian market.

”Aircraft development to support advanced air mobility is well under way, but its potential will only be fully leveraged if the supporting ground infrastructure hosting takeoff and landing facilities is in place,” said Clem Newton-Brown, CEO and founder of Skyportz.

“We are assembling the infrastructure backbone to make Australia even more attractive for innovative aircraft builders looking for a place to trial real-world use cases. Things are getting pretty crowded in the US and European markets, and we believe that Australia could be a faster jurisdiction to progress certification of new aircraft.”

John Langford, founder and CEO of Electra Aero, said, “Australia exemplifies the type of market that will greatly benefit from Electra’s eSTOL aircraft, with our greater payload capabilities, lower emissions, longer range, and reduced operating costs.

“Skyportz’ focus on creating the right infrastructure and operating environment ensures that Melbourne and Australia are at the forefront of fully utilising these transportation advancements.

“Clem is a true visionary in the advanced air mobility community, and he has assembled an impressive team of people to work on every aspect of this aviation revolution. Electra is excited to collaborate with Skyportz, in anticipation of our eSTOL aircraft flying missions in Australia ranging from on-demand intra-city passenger flights to medical transport, cargo logistics, remote area missions and more.”

Skyportz is also nearing the launch of a crowd fundraise, to enable micro-investors to get themselves involved in the future of air taxi infrastructure.

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