Australian startup Skyportz has unveiled its plans for Australia’s first air taxi vertiport, designed by Contreras Earl Architecture (CEA). To be located at Caribbean Park in Melbourne, the vertiport will support the emerging electric air taxi industry, which is expected to revolutionise personal transport.
CEA designed the vertiport with site‐specific input from Arup and To70 Aviation. The sculptural, futuristic terminal is based on an efficient modular design, and will be fabricated by CIG in the Netherlands. Made of recyclable aluminium, the system of prefabricated, lightweight components can be packed into shipping containers and assembled on‐site.
This allows the configuration to be adapted and customised for a wide range of locations and sizes, including land, buildings and even barges, and to be scaled for mass production. Rafael Contreras and Monica Earl founded CEA to design original, inventive buildings like Skyportz that contribute to the evolution of architecture and to the future of our communities and cities.
“We believe architecture and technology should evolve together. By using advanced software, robotics, materials and construction processes, we are liberated from traditional building practices and forms, and free to explore more creative, avant‐garde ideas,” said Rafael. The sleek, sculptural modules have an organic form that coexists harmoniously with the built and natural environment.
Based on patterns found in nature, the curved forms and organic lines optimise environmental performance and encourage public engagement and are imbued with a sense of warmth and soul. The Caribbean Park vertiport includes three active pads and multiple charging bays. The facilities incorporate many elements found in modern airport terminals, with a focus on the passenger experience, safety and security, and environmental impacts taken into consideration.
The flexibility and functionality of the design means the modules can also be used for other purposes, such as event spaces, cafés, bars and meeting rooms, ready for aviation activation. Skyportz has identified about 400 potential sites across Australia, including retrofitting existing buildings and multilevel car parking garages, and it is anticipating the first electric air taxi will be commercially certified to take passengers by 2024.
“Skyportz is offering the property industry a chance to get on the front foot and install these lightweight, affordable vertiports in advance of being able to actually use them. We don’t need to wait for the policymakers, these buildings can be used for other purposes for now and will be on‐site and ready to activate for aviation in the future,” said Clem Newton‐Brown, CEO of Skyportz.
More than $10 billion has been invested into electric air taxi development over the last year, consequently the vertiport infrastructure is important to facilitate the growth and operation of the industry. With CEA’s compact and affordable design, the vertiports can be shipped and installed in advance of the aircraft operating. “We are proud to be part of developing Australia’s first air taxi vertiport and what it means for the future of transport and clean, green travel,” said Monica. Source and images Courtesy of Contreras Earl Architecture.