Ferrovial Airports, the airport infrastructure management company, has launched a project to develop a network of more than 20 interconnected and 100 per cent sustainable vertiports in Spain.
The company – which has a 25 per cent stake in London’s Heathrow Airport, one of the busiest in the world – aims to design, build and operate all the infrastructure that is required to operate eVTOL aircraft. As the project is only just in its early stages, a location and predicted timescale has yet to be announced.
But the project’s financial viability hinges on access to the European Recovery Funds, for which it has already initiated the necessary procedures by submitting replies to the Expressions of Interest at the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Ecological Transition.
Gonzalo Velasco, Head of Innovation at Ferrovial Airports, said: “Vertiports represent a major step forward in achieving sustainable infrastructures for air mobility in the immediate future. Spain is well placed to be at the forefront of electric mobility and has the market potential to achieve it.”
The vertiport design is being developed in cooperation with Spanish multinational IDOM, to create an infrastructure adapted to passenger transport using electric vehicles.
All the infrastructure and services will make use of green energy in order to attain the highest standards of sustainability that are envisaged. It is also planned to provide the vertiports with suitable areas for parking both eVTOL aircraft and terrestrial electric vehicles, as well as charging stations.
Ferrovial Airports is working with Spanish company DatActionS, a Big Data specialist, to identify optimal locations and estimate user demand. It also wants the support of Europe’s leading eVTOL aircraft developers, such as Airbus – which is currently developing its CityAirbus – Lilium, and Tecnalia, a research and technological development centre based in Spain.
Jorge Gil, CEO of Ferrovial Airports, added: “At Ferrovial Airports we are committed to providing new sustainable mobility alternatives that will enable us to decongest intercity traffic and offer a fast, comfortable passenger experience.”
This news follows on from Ferrovial’s earlier announcement with German eVTOL aircraft developer Lilium. Both companies signed a framework agreement to build a network of 10 vertiports in Florida, USA.
Ferrovial Airports has more than 20 years’ experience of investing, developing and operating at 33 airports around the world, including the United States, Australia and Chile. It currently has four airports in the United Kingdom.
As well as a stake in Heathrow Airport, it is the airport’s core shareholder and industry partner and owns 50 per cent of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports.