DIFCO has begun construction of the first eVTOL aircraft vertiport facility at Rock Island, Illinois. 

Officially named The Corporal Jason G Pautsch Vertiport, the site is located centrally within the four Quad Cities metropolitan area and will include corporate hangar facilities for lease, refuelling services, an executive pilot lounge, a prototype visual navigational aid beacon and area navigation (RNAV) instrumentation approach and departure egress.

DIFCO partnered with rotorcraft aviation company Hughes Aerospace and Five Alpha on the development in early 2021.

DIFCO CEO Jake Pautsch announced the project to help familiarise the community with eVTOL and VTOL, and the future resources available to them by locating a significant hospital’s aero-medical aviation division to the site.

Pautsch said: “We are excited to be pioneering with our team a vertiport that will supply Quad Cities medical patients with safer and faster high-end access to aero-medical transport. 

“In addition to supporting traditional rotorcraft the state-of-the-art facility will support the rising, electric battery-powered eVTOL aircraft. 

“Numerous, one-of-a-kind components of the project are unheard of in this industry and will increase safety, and the use of advanced technology will manage power production demands that eVTOL aircraft require without drawing from traditional energy grid power. 

“Evaluating the massive power demands of electric aircraft is a moral responsibility and we have integrated components to be renewably conscious.” 

DIFCO is a historic and industrial preservation and specialty industrial real estate development firm with a Union Iron Works Division possessing an established in-house legal department. Headquartered in Davenport, Iowa, the company’s focus is on serving municipal and federal sector clients and select criteria-based commercial clientele across the United States.

Five-Alpha is a global aeronautical company dedicated to providing specialised education, training, insight and services into the very challenging and unique communities of helicopter and vertical lift infrastructure and organ/tissue donation and transplantation.

In April last year, Five-Alpha partnered with Varon Vehicles to support the development of its Infrastructure Networks in Latin America with plans to begin transportation services in Colombia.