SkyDrive enters US market with practical use cases in South Carolina

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.

Avatar photo

Jason Pritchard

Jason Pritchard is the Editor of eVTOL Insights. He holds a BA from Leicester's De Montfort University and has worked in Journalism and Public Relations for more than a decade. Outside of work, Jason enjoys playing and watching football and golf. He also has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt.

eVTOL Insights is part of the Industry Insights Group. Registered in the UK. Company No: 14395769