Skyports will help establish Ireland’s first passenger and cargo vertiport, after signing a memorandum of understanding with Future Mobility Campus IrelandAvtrain and Shannon Group.

The partnership will help launch an operational vertiport at Shannon’s FMCI campus in 2022, with a long-term goal of creating the country’s first eVTOL air taxi service and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations.

The consortium has begun working towards launching proof-of-concept BVLOS operations as early as September. These flights will demonstrate the viability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and highlight the benefits research and investment in advanced air mobility will bring to urban and rural areas of Ireland.

Duncan Walker, CEO at Skyports, said: “This partnership provides a launch pad for Ireland’s advanced air mobility market. To be contributing at this early stage demonstrates the criticality of vertiport infrastructure to the success of the industry.  Participating alongside a group of such high calibre organisations puts us in a strong position to kick-start the project, providing the perfect mix of expertise to make our AAM plans a reality.”

Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) is the country’s first testbed for future mobility and located next to Shannon Airport. Avtrain is one of Europe’s leading drone training and certification body and Shannon Group’s International Aviation Services Centre supports and promotes one of Ireland’s largest aviation clusters located at Shannon.

Russell Vickers, CEO at Future Mobility Campus Ireland, said: “Ireland and this region in particular has a huge potential to shape future research and development of Advanced Aerial Mobility. This partnership demonstrates the belief in that potential. Development of a vertiport in conjunction with a UAV testing area provides a natural extension to the capabilities of the Future Mobility Campus. The ecosystem continues to grow thanks to the vision and belief of our partners.”

Julie Garland, CEO at Avtrain, added: “The calibre of the partners in this project ensures its success. The vast experience in training & certification standards, vertiport development, BVLOS drone ops, airport operations and autonomous mobility are a force to be reckoned with in the Advanced Air Mobility market. The location next to Shannon Airport is the epicentre of the aviation industry in Ireland and critical to the future integration of manned and unmanned aircraft.”

This latest announcement from Skyports follows on from last week’s piece of news, which said it had been accepted to take part in two projects in Japan’s Osaka Prefecture. The company is establishing its presence in other countries as well, having recently appointed Addison Ferrell as its new Head of Americas.

eVTOL Insights also spoke to Yun-yuan Tay, Skyports’ Head of Asia Pacific as part of its podcast series earlier this year.