In preparation for the impending launch of eVTOLs, U.S-based Altaport has constructed the world’s first vertiport automation system (VAS) to facilitate the future of travel by automating ground infrastructure operations, reports a press release.
Altaport, launched within the Philo Ventures startup studio, was co-founded by former Airbus and Google employees who saw the need to prepare today’s ground infrastructure for the future of high-volume eVTOL and cargo drone traffic.
The Altaport platform oversees a range of activities on behalf of ground infrastructure managers including resource management and scheduling; and ground movement safety monitoring, passenger management, and fee collection. Altaport’s platform both reflects and builds upon the system outlined in NASAs VAS White Paper.
Cory Cozzens, Altaport co-founder and Philo Ventures founding partner, commented, “The industry is severely unprepared for the demand to come. We’re only a couple years away from the introduction of eVTOLs, but most landing infrastructure managers are still using archaic toolsets to manage their operations.”
He continued, “We’ve spent more than a decade building and launching operations that are highly reflective of what future AAM operations will look like, giving us unique insight into the challenges and opportunities that such operations present.”
eVTOLs are expected to begin initial commercial flights by early 2025, and forecasts by NASA, McKinley, Morgan Stanley, and others predict that the advanced air mobility (AAM) market will grow into a USD9 trillion market by 2050 where an individual vertiport could serve over 100 autonomous flights per hour, in coordination with a network of as many as 300 vertiports within a single metropolitan area.
A robust, interoperable vertiport operating and communications system is vital to managing the magnitude of interactions to come between vertiports and operators, as outlined in NASA’s July 2021 report titled Vertiport Automation Software Architecture and Requirements.
Altaport’s platform is currently used at many major heliports throughout Brazil, playing an important role in the development of tomorrow’s AAM landing network.
Robert Carroll, Altaport co-founder, remarked, “Adopting Altaport’s technology early will enable landing locations to effectively prepare for the transition to electric and hybrid-electric aviation.”
The release says, “While helping heliports streamline their operations today, the partnerships also give the Altaport team an opportunity to gather invaluable real-time feedback within an environment that is highly analogous to the future AAM operations network.”
Grant Fisk, co-founder of Volatus Infrastructure, explained, “Altaport’s VAS platform will play a critical role in establishing and growing a safe and efficient eVTOL ecosystem. We believe its VAS is a key piece in the Volatus vertiport package, which is why we partnered with Altaport early on. We particularly appreciate how the work with heliports today is going to directly translate to and benefit the eVTOL world.”
Using Brazil’s helicopter market as an analog for advanced air mobility (AAM) traffic, Altaport has deployed its technology at high-volume helipads and major air taxi operators in São Paulo. By early 2023, Altaport will be active at both heliports and general aviation airports in LATAM and North America, laying the foundation of the AAM ground infrastructure network needed.
Eve Air Mobility in LATAM (Graphic Image)
Meanwhile, Philo Ventures is a Utah-based startup studio focused on building new companies from inception to early operations. Its portfolio includes innovative businesses in various industries, including aviation, outdoor hospitality and sustainable infrastructure.
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(top image: Vertical Aerospace)