Skyports, the designer and builder of infrastructure for advanced air mobility (AAM) craft, has signed an agreement with the AirAsia Aviation Group to examine the opportunities for air taxi vertiport construction throughout Malaysia.
The accord calls for London-based Skyports to work with AirAsia’s specialized AAM unit to explore optimal locations for air taxi vertiport services, with a focus on Kuala Lumpur as the first city that will feature the future aerial transport option; this effort will identify potential infrastructure positions and determine whether new vertiports must be built, or which can instead be added to existing structures.
It will also evaluate requirements and frameworks needed to eventually create and operate a network of vertiports across Malaysia.
Its vertiport agreement with Skyports follows AirAsia’s earlier commitment to AAM tech and activity. Last February, the group said it had agreed to buy 100 Vertical Aerospace VX4 electric takeoff and landing aircraft for air taxi and medium-range services. Those piloted, four-passenger craft will operate at speeds of up to 200 mph over a maximum 100-mile range.
In addition to AirAsia’s long and deep experience in passenger air activity, the Malaysia AAM partnership will draw on the many vertiport and infrastructure development deals Skyports is already working on in the US, Europe, and across 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, Skyports’ head of Asia Pacific.
Ling Liong Tien, head of AAM for AirAsia, said the partnership with Skyports will give additional lift to the company’s efforts to be among the first to bring next generation air transport to Malaysia and wider region.
“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,” he said. “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.”