Companies To Study Malaysia Air Taxi Infrastructure Development

AirAsia and Skyports will study infrastructure requirements for advanced air mobility in Kuala Lumpur.
Credit: Capital A

Infrastructure developer Skyports Infrastructure and AirAsia’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), a unit of AirAsia Aviation Group Limited, have signed a one-year letter of intent (LOI) to study air taxi infrastructure development in Malaysia. 

Airline operator AirAsia and Skyports will priortize Kuala Lumpur as the initial operating environment for the urban air mobility (UAM) infrastructure. They will evaluate the integration of an air taxi vertiport infrastructure with existing transport operations, the identification of potential vertiport sites, and the development of operational requirements and frameworks to ultimately implement a vertiport network in Malaysia. 

AirAsia is already involved in the operationalization of AAM in Malaysia, with plans to lease 100 Vertical Aerospace VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon. The airline has also launched its drone training program, which is being offered to high technology-related companies in Malaysia.   

The the partnership will draw on AirAsia’s aviation experience as well as its on-ground market knowledge and networks. Complementing this, Skyports Infrastructure brings to the table its global portfolio of designing and building takeoff and landing infrastructure for eVTOL passenger aircraft. Skyports Infrastructure’s work is also instrumental in advancing regulatory development across markets through close collaboration with local regulatory bodies and standards-setting organizations.  

“Following the announcement of our venture into the urban air taxi service earlier this year, we have been working around the clock to explore its feasibility in Malaysia,” says Capt. Ling Liong Tien, head of AAM for AirAsia Aviation Group. “This partnership with Skyports will accelerate the review of the infrastructure, including vertical takeoff and landing platforms in the country as well as strengthen our potential as a zero-emissions ultra-short-haul air travel provider in Southeast Asia.”

“With innovative and forward-looking partners like AirAsia, we will be able to take concrete steps toward the realization of a safe, efficient and fully integrated air taxi network which brings real benefits to the people and communities it serves,” says Yun-Yuan Tay, head of Asia Pacific for Skyports. 

Skyports in developing diverse AAM projects in Paris and Los Angeles and has partnerships established to develop infrastructure in Singapore and Japan as well.   

Carole Rickard Hedden

Carole Rickard Hedden is Executive Editor for custom content and Program Excellence for the Aviation Week Network, providing custom content and research to industry executives. She also is Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Week’s Advanced Air Mobility Report.