Retrofitting Cities for Air Taxis: Are Waterfront Vertiports the Future of Advanced Air Mobility?

Waterfront vertiportsWaterfront vertiportsSkyportz®, Contreras Earl Architecture and Pascall+Watson Architects will release a concept for an Australian waterfront e-mobility hub at the World Air Taxi Congress in San Francisco.

Continue reading below, or listen:

The group proposes that waterfront vertiports are a logical solution for retrofitting cities to accommodate eVTOLs.

The current proposal will replace an existing heliport on the Yarra River in Melbourne, with a new purpose built vertiport to accommodate the introduction of electric air taxis.

 The Skyportz vertiport would be a multi-use space.  “Under this plan the site would also be a multi modal hub for electric scooters, bikes, ferries and hire boats. A cafe would provide an area for people to view the action,” says the announcement.

“We have been developing designs and concepts for vertiports for five years and we keep coming back to waterfront sites being the most practical to retrofit cities for Advanced Air Mobility. The reality is that waterfront sites provide the safest access for electric air taxis in terms of aviation requirements for clear approach and departure paths”, said Skyportz CEO, Clem Newton-Brown.

“Waterfront sites are also likely to be one of the few places where land can be found to accommodate terminals and there is also the option for floating landing pads.”

“Paris has five vertiports proposed for the Olympics next year. They will be primarily using existing airports and helipads. The one new vertiport they have chosen to be on the river. This aligns with our thinking that when cities need to actually choose vertiport locations the lowest hanging fruit will be the waterfront locations”, said Newton-Brown.

 “We are really excited to have developed this concept in conjunction with Contreras Earl Architecture and Pascall+Watson Architects and it has great potential to be rolled out in waterfront cities around the world”, said Skyportz CEO, Clem Newton-Brown

“This landmark building is the result of addressing many different important parameters, including sustainability, context, climate, community and the user experience. The vertiport will feature a high-performance roof designed to be structurally robust, lightweight and sustainable owing to its aluminium monocoque structure – the same system employed in the manufacturing of cars and aircraft.

 By embracing the latest technology, we are liberated from traditional building practices and forms, and free to explore more forward-thinking ideas. Melbourne is ahead by having two vertiports designed in its city. We are proud to be part of the implementation of this new technology and what it means for the future of Melbourne and clean, green travel,” said Rafael Contreras. Director of Contreras Earl Architecture.

Advanced Air Mobility presents a real opportunity to enhance our major cities with regards to both improved liveability and connectivity. The Melbourne Vertiport utilises existing helicopter permissions to offer a quiet, zero-pollution solution that gets its users quickly and quietly to and from a range of metropolitan destinations.

It forms an ideal complement to the Citys Greenline Masterplan objectives in achieving both an environmentally and commercially revitalised Yarra frontage with drastically improved pedestrian access. What better way to show-case the spectacle of future flight than in replacing a central city helicopter service in this prominent location with a wonderful new, environmentally sensitive AAM facility for Melbournians. said Martin Neilan, Aviation Director, Pascall+Watson Architects.

“The key to this industry is breaking the nexus between aviation and existing airports. We need to develop a network of new vertiport sites if the industry is to reach its potential and we see the greatest potential in  waterfront locations”, said Newton-Brown.

Read more:

Miriam McNabbMiriam McNabb

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.


Subscribe to DroneLife here.

Optimized by Optimole