Leading advanced air mobility (AAM) infrastructure design and construction company Skyports says it has struck a partnership with US group LAZ Parking to develop vertiports in the Los Angeles, a move they call necessary to facilitate the introduction of air taxi services in the coming years.
At first glance, the pairing of a drone services startup and parking giant might seem counterintuitive. Yet LAZ Parking, whose origins date back to the 1981 founding, subsequent growth, and eventual merger of independent valet parking companies run by three childhood friends, has continually tried to innovate the services it offers, and explore how new technologies can enhance those. It now seeks to extend that further through an effort to transform traditional parking facilities into hubs connecting various kinds of new and next generation means of transport.
Skyports, which opened for business in 2018 as a drone services and vertiport infrastructure firm, has in recent months racked up an impressive series of deals across the globe in the run up to looming arrival of AAM services.
Together, the duo hopes to combine their contrasting but potentially cross-nurturing experiences to develop takeoff, landing, and recharging facilities for air taxi operators across the LA area – and if possible, beyond.
It’s unclear as yet whether the plan calls for Skyports to design and build vertiports exclusively on parking properties LAZ already owns in LA – among what the company calls over a million parking spaces in more than a thousand locations across the US – or if new acquisitions will also be made.
Either way, their mutual plan is to construct infrastructure for safe, efficient, quiet, and carbon-free passenger air taxis that can bridge clients to existing transport services like cars, airlines, airports, while also offering access to other emerging, sustainable, electric means of urban conveyance.
“We’re excited to be working with LAZ Parking to deploy take-off and landing sites for electric air taxis, first in Los Angeles, followed by the rest of the U.S.” said Addison Ferrell, head of Americas for Skyports. “Our partnership with LAZ enables us to leverage their extensive portfolio of facilities for vertiport development, creating value for LAZ customers, partners, and communities. LAZ is an ideal partner for Skyports because it has operated in the area for many years, and with that comes strong partnerships and a deep understanding of the mobility landscape.”
For LAZ – which is now half-owned by the French parking giant Indigo – the development is another means of integrating technology into its parking operations, following earlier adaptations that included remote monitoring, eCommerce, and Proximity On-Demand Services.
“This partnership with Skyports is both an acknowledgement of LAZ’s leadership in the area of technology and a recognition of our excellence in both traditional and tech-enabled parking and last-mile mobility solutions,” said Alan Lazowski, chairman and CEO of LAZ Parking. “We are honored and excited to be partnering on the implementation of this cutting-edge service with Skyports, a company as committed to innovation, sustainability, and customer service as we are at LAZ.”
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