Last week, Altaport, a startup co-founded by former Airbus and Google employees in 2021, announced it has built the world’s first vertiport automation system (VAS) to facilitate the future of travel by automating ground infrastructure operations. The announcement is another significant step in the preparation for the forthcoming launch of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles, aka “flying taxis”, as eVTOLs are expected to begin initial commercial flights by 2024.
The forecasts by Nasa, McKinley, Morgan Stanley, and others predict that the advanced air mobility (AAM) market will grow into a $9 trillion market by 2050 — with an individual vertiport serving over 100 autonomous flights per hour, in coordination with a network of as many as 300 vertiports within a single metropolitan area.
The Altaport platform controls a range of activities on behalf of ground infrastructure managers, including resource management and scheduling, ground movement safety monitoring, passenger management, and fee collection. With Altaport, infrastructure managers can drive efficiency, revenue optimization, and safety at their landing facilities, all while reducing staff workload.
Altaport’s platform is currently used at numerous major heliports throughout Brazil, playing an important role in the development of tomorrow’s AAM landing network. Using Brazil’s helicopter market as an analog for AAM traffic, Altaport has deployed its technology at high-volume helipads and major air taxi operators in São Paulo. By early 2023, Altaport will be active at both heliports and general aviation airports in LATAM and North America, laying the foundation of the AAM ground infrastructure network needed to support the launch of eVTOL operations in 2024.