Urban air mobility developer Volocopter is targeting a commercial launch in Singapore around 2024 – once it clinches type certification – with intra-city tourist flights likely to be its initial offering.
Christian Bauer, chief commercial officer at Germany-based Volocopter, says the company is “well on track to finalise” its type certification and operating licences with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
Volocopter has now released its “Singapore Roadmap”, which details its operational plans in the city state – one of the first cities in the world in which the company will operate.
The company is bullish about its prospects in Singapore: it expects to generate nearly S$4.2 billion ($3.1 billion) in “cumulative economic benefits” by 2030, and create up to 1,300 jobs.
The roadmap comes more than two years after Volocopter successfully completed its first manned electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) flight over downtown Singapore.
Since then, the company has been working with the Singapore authorities and other local partners to roll out the service commercially.
Initially, Volocopter expects to use its eVTOL aircraft for tourist flights in downtown Singapore, as well to the tourist island of Sentosa.
This will be followed by cross-border flights between Singapore and Malaysia and Indonesia – Bauer mentions Johor Bahru as a possible destination. However, this would be in the longer term, given the “complexities” in areas like cross-border certification, as well as immigration.
On the logistics side, Volocopter is also eyeing opportunities in using its VoloDrone to perform shore-to-ship parcel deliveries in Singapore. Bauer adds that the company is “working with partners here to do feasibility studies”.
It will join a growing list of aerospace companies – including Singapore’s ST Engineering and Airbus – targeting such services.
Bauer downplays any notion of stiff competition in the urban air mobility sector and welcomes what he called “other market participants”.
“I never speak… about competition, I speak about other market participants. [Firstly], if we [were] the only one, we would maybe do something wrong. So it’s good to have other players forming this new industry.
“A lot of players going into that space gives credibility to this ecosystem and urban air mobility space,” Bauer tells FlightGlobal.