MAHB to conduct feasibility study on electric air taxi services

The collaboration with Skysports and Volocopter will form part of the 5-year LTSAAS Regeneration plan

by SHAFIQQUL ALIFF / Pic courtesy of MAHB

MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Skyports and Volocopter collaborated to conduct a feasibility study for vertiport deployment in Malaysia.

MAHB stated the collaboration forms part of the five-year Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang (LTSAAS) Regeneration plan and will be a game-changer in terms of air travel offerings.

As a first step, the parties will combine their distinct aerospace and aviation expertise to conduct a feasibility study examining suitable vertiport solutions to enable the safe take-off and landing of passenger electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles, considering factors such as demand, customer flow and how to integrate urban air mobility (UAM) operations.

“It will explore the deployment of revolutionary electric air taxi services at LTSAAS as well as other locations throughout Malaysia.

“This also puts the country among the leaders in the region in terms of willingness to implement UAM,” MAHB said in a statement yesterday.

Its group CEO Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh (picture) said their objective is to provide end-to-end, mid-to high-value capabilities and solutions that are anchored by top-tier operators.

He said Volocopter and Skyports are both leaders in their respective fields of advanced air mobility and we hope to further future proof LTSAAS’s position in Asia Pacific by catering to research, assembly, manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul in addition to air taxi operations.

“Air taxi technology and revolution is the next big thing that we want to see happen in Malaysian aviation.

“With LTSAAS offering a synergistic ecosystem within the aviation and aerospace sectors, it is time for us to explore this new service as it complements other key developments of the regeneration initiative.

“LTSAAS Regeneration will offer various development opportunities to aviation and aerospace players worldwide thus echoing the government’s original intent to turn LTSAAS into both an international aerospace centre and business aviation hub,” Mohd Shukrie said.

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to capture around 45% of the advanced air mobility market by 2035, translating to US$9.5 billion (RM40.28 billion).

Meanwhile, Skyports CEO Duncan Walke said MAHB’s ambitions for future-proofing Subang Airport and implementing electric air taxi services throughout Malaysia align with Skyports’ ambitions delivering UAM in the Asia Pacific market.

The feasibility study will allow them to explore all the elements needed to create a future air mobility model that could be deployed across the region.

“Our track record of success with Volocopter combined with a wealth of experience and Malaysia Airports’ objectives which make it an exciting initiative,” he said.

Volocopter COO Christian Bauer added the feasibility study will provide insights on demand, customer expectations and airport integration, which we can apply to other markets in the South-East Asian region.

“Having expert partners like Skyports and LTSAAS understanding the local needs is decisive in bringing revolutionary technologies like electric air taxis to new markets,” Bauer said.