A groundbreaking project has been launched in Turin, Italy, which aims to offer a complete ecosystem dedicated to advanced air mobility (AAM) services. Notable goals include building a network of vertiports for eVTOL aircraft and opening an academy to train new industry pilots and technicians.

Known as SkyGate, it has been founded by the holding Always Srl and its subsidiary DigiSky. The project is in the process of selecting startups to help accelerate the movement and has said the vertiports would be built by renovating the current infrastructure at Torino Aeritalia Airport. The academy is the result of an agreement between DigiSky and Aero Club Torino.

Additionally, SkyGate also aims to build a laboratory for the research and development of new technologies for passenger and cargo vehicles.

Carlo Caiaffa, President of Always and who, together with co-founders Paolo Pari and Alessandro Rovera, leads the initiative, said: SkyGate will offer business acceleration services for start-ups and scale-ups, creating fruitful synergies between enterprises, services and academics.

“It is a vertical accelerator for the urban air mobility sector that will generate innovation while attracting financial and industrial investments in the region, with significant impacts in terms of job creation.

“Our challenge is to make SkyGate one of the first international research and development centers for vertical mobility of the third millennium”

Thanks to the expertise of DigiSky founder Maurizio Cheli, a former NASA astronaut and well renowned test pilot – SkyGate will host acceleration projects for companies operating in the field of hybrid propulsion, energy storage, vertical take-off systems, trainings, logistics and maintenance. Companies will also be able to find technical and engineering support for in-flight validation and testing of new technologies and systems.

It also hopes to be the catalyst for those enterprises which gravitate around the vertical air mobility sector, and deal with sectors such as autonomous driving and transport infrastructures: a market with an enormous potential but that is still largely unexpressed.

SkyGate has said that unnamed aerospace companies have already expressed an interest in evaluating the technologies developed within the research lab.

One of its partners is Walle Mobility, which is currently working to launch Italy’s first eVTOL aircraft service by 2026. The startup is led by CEO Domenico Gagliardi – who has been recognised in the first eVTOL Insights Power Book – and it recently announced a joint collaboration with Jaunt Air Mobility to develop the first urban air mobility routes.

Speaking to eVTOL Insights about the SkyGate initiative, Gagliardi said: “SkyGate is an excellent opportunity to show the world that Italy is also present. Walle will participate in the initiative, contributing to the construction of the first innovation hub in Italy on the urban air mobility market, in addition to the largest objective: the first Italian vertiports for operational tests and more.

“Walle is ready to officially open the Urban Air Mobility market in Italy. We are about to announce several other agreements that will bring Walle as a leading player in the market in Italy and Southern Europe.”

For more information about the SkyGate project, click here.