Regional AAM Could Come To Singapore By Mid-Decade

Volocopter conducted an air taxi demonstration flight over Singapore’s Marina Bay in 2019.
Credit: Volocopter

Regional advanced air mobility service between Singapore and Malaysia using longer-range electric air taxis could begin by mid-decade, according to vertiport developer Skyports.

German electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) vehicle developer Volocopter and UK startup Skyports have been working to launch service in Singapore since conducting an air-taxi demonstration flight over Marina Bay in October 2019. Trials included a prototype VoloPort floating vertiport developed by Skyports.

Volocopter began flight testing its VoloCity two-seat multicopter eVTOL air taxi at the end of 2021. The company is aiming for European certification of the aircraft by the end of 2023, leading to the launch of air taxi services in 2024. The VoloCity is designed to fly up to 35 km (22 mi.) and 110 kph (67 mph).

In December 2020, Volcopter committed to launch air taxi services in Singapore, working with the Singapore Economic Development Board and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). The first route is planned to be a tourist flight over southern waters providing views of the Marina Bay skyline.

While the VoloCity is to be certified first under the European Aviation Safety Agency’s Special Condition for VTOL airworthiness regulations, Volocopter already has an agreement in place covering validation of the type certificate by the CAAS, allowing the launch of air taxi service in Singapore.

Subsequent to its Singapore commitment, the German startup launched development of a longer-range eVTOL, the four-seat, lift-plus-cruise VoloConnect. This is designed to fly 100 km at a cruise speed of 180 kph. This and other longer-range VTOLs will extend the range of  electric air taxis out from the inner city.

“These longer-range aircraft will be certified by the 2025 or 2026 time frame,” Yun-yuan Tay, Skyports’ head of Asia-Pacific, said in a Feb. 11 interview with Singapore-based television channel CNA. “Shortly after that, we hope to bring them into Singapore to launch longer-range regional connectivity.”

In July 2021, Skyports and Volocopter signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia Airports to conduct a feasibility study examining suitable vertiport locations for passenger eVTOL vehicles in Singapore’s neighbor.

Volocopter plans to conduct some its first commercial air taxi flights in Paris during the 2024 Olympics, using a vertiport being built by Paris airport operator Group ADP and Skyports at an urban air mobility test enter established at Pontoise-Cormeilles airfield on the outskirts of the city.

Graham Warwick

Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.