What are the infrastructure and technological requirements for a vertiport and how much does it cost to build and operate a vertiport ?

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With the growing popularity of urban air mobility, the concept of vertiports has received considerable attention. A vertiport is a landing and take-off point for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, including air taxis, eVTOLs and helicopters. These facilities provide a fast and efficient mode of transport, allowing people to travel quickly and avoid congested road networks. However, the construction and operation of vertiports requires significant investment in both infrastructure and technology.

Vertiport for eVTOL aircraft
Vertiport for eVTOL aircraft

Infrastructure requirements

The first requirement for a vertiport is a suitable location. The site should be easily accessible and strategically located to provide easy connectivity to other modes of transport, including ground transport and other air travel options. The site should be large enough to accommodate the facility, including any hangars, passenger facilities and other necessary infrastructure. The site must also comply with safety requirements, including zoning, air traffic control and environmental requirements.

The second requirement is the provision of hangars for aircraft. Hangars provide a safe and secure place for aircraft when not in use. These structures must be designed to meet safety standards, including fire extinguishing systems, and be large enough to accommodate the type and number of aircraft using the facility.

The third requirement is passenger facilities. Vertiports must provide passenger facilities that are comfortable, safe and efficient. These facilities should include ticketing and security, lounges, baggage handling and other amenities that provide a pleasant experience for passengers.

Technological requirements

The first technological requirement for a vertiport is air traffic control. The facility must have a system that can safely and efficiently manage the flow of air traffic to and from the facility. The air traffic control system must be able to handle VTOL aircraft and adapt to changing traffic patterns and weather conditions.

The second technological requirement is the power supply infrastructure. VTOL aircraft require electricity to operate, which means that the vertiport must have an adequate power supply. The power supply must be reliable and scalable and be able to handle the demands of the aircraft and other facilities on the site.

The third technology requirement is communications systems. Communication systems are essential for the safe and efficient operation of the vertiport. These systems must be able to communicate with air traffic control, aircraft and other facilities on the site. They must also be able to provide real-time updates to passengers and staff, ensuring that everyone is aware of any changes or problems.

Costs

The cost to build and operate a vertiport can vary significantly depending on the location, size and complexity of the facility. The Vertical Flight Society reports that the cost to build a small vertiport for eVTOLs can range from $1 million to $3 million, while a larger facility for conventional helicopters and eVTOLs can cost upwards of $5 million. Ongoing operating costs also depend on the size and complexity of the facility, including power, maintenance and personnel costs.

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