German aircraft manufacturer Volocopter plans to make air taxi services a reality in Singapore within the next three years, this follows two years of close collaboration with the city, the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) company said in a media statement.
“Singapore is renowned for its leading role in adapting and living new technologies. Our successful cooperation with EDB, MOT, and CAAS on our previous flight has shown that there is no better place in Asia to launch our electric air taxi services than in Singapore,” says Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.
The first route in the Lion City is expected to be a touristic route over the southern waters, offering breath-taking views of the Marina Bay skyline.
This could provide Singapore with a new attraction to enhance Singapore’s tourism industry in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Volocopter had in October 2019 completed a successful air taxi demonstration flight in the heart of Singapore over the Marina Bay area, giving observers the unique opportunity to have a sense of what Urban Air Mobility will look like.
“Urban Air Mobility is an emerging area within the broader mobility sector, which we have identified as a growth industry for Singapore,” said Mr. Tan Kong Hwee, Executive Vice President, EDB.
“Singapore is an important regional testbed for autonomous cars, electric vehicles, and Urban Air Mobility, including the successful test flight by Volocopter in 2019. We are glad that Volocopter has chosen Singapore to anchor its commercial and R&D activities. This will help build new capabilities for our mobility ecosystem and create many exciting opportunities for Singapore,” add Tan.
Follow-on connections may include cross-border flights, which may enhance regional connectivity and offer a significantly improved travel experience to Singapore’s closest economic centers.
“In this new area of Urban Air Mobility, we look forward to continue working with Volocopter. This gives us the opportunity to co-create regulations and technologies with the industry, facilitating innovation to enable a future mode of transportation for Singapore,” said Mr. Tan Kah Han, Senior Director (Unmanned Systems Group) of CAAS.
Leading up to the launch of commercial operations, Volocopter will build up a team of 50 pilots, engineers, operation specialists, and business managers in the next 3 years.
The company is expected to hire over 200 full-time employees in Singapore to manage a network of Singapore routes by 2026.
Volocopter says it has also initiated research and development projects with local institutions, starting with Fraunhofer Singapore at the Nanyang Technological University.
By Editorial Team / December 10, 2020
Check out Exclusive TechStorm’s Asian Production – Storm Bytes exclusive cover on Volocopter here: