Japanese eVTOL manufacturer SkyDrive has announced plans to enter the US market and establish a home base in South Carolina at the 2023 annual VFS eVTOL Symposium in Mesa, Arizona.

SkyDrive further outlined a plan to develop an advanced air mobility ecosystem in South Carolina while focussing on building a variety of practical use cases originating from two of its key airports in cooperation with local and state government agencies.

SkyDrive was first invited to South Carolina in July 2022 by the Beaufort County Economic Development Corporation (BCEDC), with whose support it has explored market opportunities within the state utilising its SD-05 eVTOL aircraft

SkyDrive founder and CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa said: “The decision to make South Carolina our home base was easy considering that it is a significant player in both the commercial and military aviation industries, and home to more than 400 aerospace companies including Boeing and Lockheed Martin.”

Harry Lightsey, secretary of commerce at the State of South Carolina Department of Commerce, added: “The future of advanced manufacturing, aerospace, and vehicle industries is here, and SkyDrive’s advanced electric propulsion technology and sustainable transportation fit South Carolina’s growing business development goals.”

Frank Murray, director of planning and facilities at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) continued: “By teaming with SkyDrive to model an FAA compliant advanced air mobility ecosystem with infrastructure requirements based on use cases for flights originating from our airport, CAE is looking forward to working with SkyDrive as we share a common vision of taking the lead in this mobility revolution.”

James Stephens, airport director at Greenville Downtown Airport, concluded: “We partnered with SkyDrive to assist with the modeling of an FAA compliant AAM ecosystem that will serve our local region and state.

“We believe that the impact of advanced air mobility in Greenville will create a new form of transportation that eventually becomes part of the normal transportation processes within our community and around the world.”

To watch the presentation at eVTOL Symposium 2023, please visit:

Earlier this month, SkyDrive appointed Volocopter’s former CTO Arnaud Coville as its new Chief Development Officer to lead the team developing the company’s SD-05 model.