Skyports and SEA Milan Airports, one of the main airport operators in Europe, have signed a partnership agreement to investigate the development and operation of a network of landing vertiports across Italy.

Starting with Milan, where SEA manages Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate airports, the partnership will enable Skyports and SEA Group to explore the deployment of vehicle-agnostic, scalable and cost effective vertiports across the city and the surrounding region.

The partners have identified several use-cases for advanced air mobility, which could see commercial operations being established in time for when the Milano Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics take place.

Duncan Walker, CEO and Founder of Skyports said: “I’m really excited about this partnership. Milan is a central business hub for Italy’s northern region which makes it an attractive market for advanced air mobility applications. Our plans are to have a number of operational vertiports across Italy by the mid-2020s in time for the 2026 Winter Olympics. SEA Milano is the ideal partner for delivering on our strategy in Italy.”

With Skyports’ deep knowledge of the advanced air mobility market, regulatory and technical expertise, and unparalleled partnerships with the leading eVTOL manufacturers and operators, and SEA Group’s deep-rooted airport infrastructure and aviation experience, this partnership anticipates deploying a large number of vertiports across Italy within the next years.

Armando Brunini CEO of SEA Milan Airports said: “Collaborating with Skyports, the global market leader in designing, building and operating vertiports will accelerate SEA’s capability to deploy a network of vertiports, starting from greater Milan.

“And thus, supporting the start-up and development of this promising and sustainable mode of air mobility, as set out in the framework guidelines of the national strategic roadmap for advanced air mobility developed by ENAC, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority.”

Italy is seen as one country which can be an early adopter for Advanced Air Mobility in Europe, with a high potential for business, leisure and sightseeing flights.

A company already making progress is Walle Mobility, which aims to specifically target interurban routes within 50km and offer routes as a shuttle transport service via eVTOL aircraft. Its roadmap will see the company mock up a vertiport design later this year, with public demo days starting from 2022-23.

The construction of the first vertiport is planned for 2024, as well as the recruitment and training of the country’s first pilot. The launch of Italy’s first eVTOL aircraft service will then launch a year later in 2025.

It says it wants to radically transform passenger transport in high-density areas and connect strategic points of cities or tourist areas with important traffic nodes such as airports and railway stations.

In terms of partnerships, Walle Mobility signed an agreement with Skyroads, formerly D3 Technologies, to design a concept of operations and earlier this year, it confirmed it will be working with Jaunt Air Mobility to develop the first routes as early as 2026. Jaunt’s Journey eVTOL aircraft will also be used for the first passenger-carrying services. Additionally, Walle is working with Airio to develop intelligent flight paths.