Australian developer of vertiports, Skyportz, has struck another deal to adapt existing commercial properties across that nation to serve as operating and recharging hubs for nearing air taxi services.
Melbourne-based Skyportz recently announced it had joined forces with Australian real estate developer Pelligra to explore opportunities for establishing air taxi vertiport facilities at buildings in the company’s portfolio. The move aims to accelerate the creation of ground structure needed for next-generation aerial services that are set to launch in just a couple years – and which several Australian cities have shown great interest in.
Read: Skyportz unveils Oz’s first network of air taxi and UAM vertiports
The move follows the logic of Skyportz’s earlier link-up with Secure Parking, the owner of hundreds of parking garages in Australian cities that may be adapted to create rooftop vertiports designed for air taxi operation.
It also dovetails with Pelligra’s efforts to repurpose some of its outdated holdings like the shuttered Holden and Ford automobile production plants in Victoria and South Australia for use by companies pursuing emerging technologies like electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air transport.
“We lost our local car manufacturing industry, and I would like to see Australia develop an electric air taxi manufacturing capability,” said company CEO Ross Pelligra. “The former car assembly plants would be perfect… We are a nimble, privately owned company with a large portfolio of sites across Australia. In addition to vertiport sites we are passionate about developing a local manufacturing industry for eVTOL aircraft and serving as a base for the Asia Pacific market.”
Read: Plana looks to create Asia’s first eVTOL corridor between South Korea and Japan
Pelligra owns over 1,200 properties in Australia and abroad, and is keen to maximize use of those in sync with the rapid changes and opportunities being created by new technologies. Some of those properties are doubtless already registered in Skyportz international database cataloguing potential vertiport locations around the world, and ranking their suitability and readiness as air taxi facilities.
Skyportz CEO Clem Newton-Brown says using existing structures like those Pelligra and Secure Parking operate is vital to creating vertiports necessary for the launch of air taxis – especially with some developers nearing certification – and to create networks of landing, takeoff, and recharging facilities across Australia and the globe.
“With the industrial and commercial property portfolio of Pelligra and the Secure Parking inner city car parking garages we can offer a comprehensive network of vertiport sites in any capital city in Australia”, said Newton-Brown. “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 Skyportz is readying the landscape to partner with infrastructure partners such as Pelligra.”