Skyportz has revealed the first of its infrastructure for eVTOL air taxis in Australia will be built at the country’s Advanced Manufacturing Centre of Excellence (AAMCE) in Moreton Bay, Brisbane within the next two years.
Speaking at this week’s AIRTAXI World Congress in London today, Skyportz CEO Clem Newton-Brown said the company has been acculumating sites since 2018 and it now has more than 400 property partners ready to build out a Skyportz network. This site in Brisbane will be the first in a planned network to service those attending the 2032 Olympic Games.
During his presentation, he echoed the strong government support in helping to make electric aviation a reality, with the Victorian Government and Invest Victoria pitching the city of Melbourne to Uber as one of the company’s pilot cities for urban air mobility.
Additionally, the states of New South Wales and Queensland are already investing in R&D, with the national government reviewing all transport assets and how advanced air mobility can fit into current transport networks.
Newton-Brown said: “There is strong political support to develop a new era in clean, green electric aviation in Australia, however we are waiting on Federal standards and new State regulations to be developed before we can proceed to building a network.
“For this reason we are focusing initially on existing aviation infrastructure and places where it is possible to get a permit for a helipad which can transition into a future Skyportz. The AACME site was already proposing a helipad so this partnership has enabled us to bring forward our plans.”
Skyportz is simultaneously working with Australian Federal and State governments to help develop the standards, regulations and zones which will enable the Skyportz “mini airports” in new locations in and around cities and regional centres
At the moment, there are more than 300 eVTOL air taxi start ups around the world, with over $8 billion invested in the aircraft from the likes of EHang, Lilium, Joby and Archer listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
But Newton-Brown was quick to highlight the infrastructure piece of the AAM ecosystem cannot be overlookd. He said: “Without a Skyportz landing site network these aircraft are not going to be able to realise their full potential. Our networks around the world will be available for all air taxi entrants but our first partner is the very exciting Electra Aero aircraft from USA.
The AAMCE will establish a world first, master-planned facility just north of Brisbane’s CBD, focused on the fully integrated commercialisation of Intellectual Property (IP) developed in Australia, and manufactured in the country for global export.
It will establish this bold and highly desirable ecosystem that will deliver significant value and scale to the entire Australian manufacturing sector via collaborative partnerships with:
- The University of Sunshine Coast (USC)
- Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC)
- Advance Robotics for Manufacturing Hub (ARM Hub)
- Indigenous Defence and Infrastructure Consortium (iDiC)
The partners will invest more than $175 million (AUD) over the next three years to establish an ecosystem unique in its advanced manufacturing and commercialisation capability.
Opening late in 2023 with more than 15 partner organisations, AAMCE will deploy world-class advanced manufacturing technologies and an Australian first ecosystem that supports the six-key pillars of the Federal Government’s 10-year Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) road map and establishes vital sovereign capabilities in Australia for the future.
Ty Hermans, Director of AAMCE, said: “We are particularly excited to be designing the first Australian Skyportz here in Brisbane as part of the AAMCE. To us it makes perfect sense that the most advanced manufacturing centre in Australia should include the most advanced transport system possible in its design. Brisbane is busily preparing for the Olympic Games in 2032 which will provide a great opportunity for the city to embrace a new form of transportation and showcase it to the world.
“This will put Australia on the map and we are very proud to be a partner of Skyportz in establishing this capability. We expect that by 2032 we should have a well established electric air taxi service in Brisbane if we get the support of all levels of Government”.