Residents of Singapore got a glimpse into the future of commercial transport on the island nation as the first manned air taxi took to the skies over Marina Bay on Tuesday.
Created by Volocopter, the air taxi underwent its last trial in a demanding test series to verify and validate the ability of the vehicle to fly over the area. Government authorities including the Ministry of Transport (MOT), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and the Economic Development Board (EDB) have supported Volocopter in the testing phase and intend to continue to do so.
“A 2X model of the company’s test series flown by a pilot onboard was used. The flight covered a distance of approximately 1.5 km and lasted for two minutes at an average cruising height of 40 m,” said Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.
Leading up to the flight on Tuesday, the aircraft underwent intensive testing in Germany for several months, following which, a rigorous flight test program to verify its performance under local environment was conducted at Seletar Airport in accordance with CAAS.
“Since late 2018, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has been working with Volocopter to facilitate this flight in Singapore. The Volocopter team went through a series of stringent evaluations to ensure that all the necessary safety requirements were met before the flight was allowed to take place. By working closely with companies such as Volocopter, we hope to facilitate innovations for beneficial uses whilst ensuring aviation and public safety,” said Ho Yuen Sang, Director (Aviation Industry) from CAAS.
“Volocopter’s decision to testbed its innovative air taxi in Singapore is testament to the opportunities and environment that Singapore provides… We are happy to support Volocopter in their development plans and hope that this is a first step towards the creation of more exciting business and job opportunities in Singapore,” said Tan Kong Hwee, Assistant Managing Director, EDB.
At the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress (ITSWC), Volocopter and their partner Skyports built the first VoloPort prototype on the floating dock in Marina Bay. VoloPorts are the only physical infrastructure required for air taxis and are designed to provide passengers with a seamless air taxi experience.
Founded in 2011 by Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel, Volocopter has 150 employees in offices in Bruchsal, Munich, and Singapore.