Charles Alcock FUTURE FLIGHT
Skyports Opens ‘Living Lab’ Passenger Terminal At Joby’s eVTOL Test Base 
October 6, 2022
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  • Joby Aviation and Skyports are developing what they call a “Living Lab” passenger terminal to evaluate the technology and operating processes needed for planned eVTOL air taxi services. The partners say the facility within Joby’s Marina, California headquarters will help them to better understand how passengers will experience eVTOL operations, and how these can be optimized. 

    For ground infrastructure group Skyports, the joint project with Joby, which is working to bring its four-passenger eVTOL aircraft into commercial service during 2024, is the latest of several operational trials at sites around the world. In November, it intends to open a European vertiport testbed at Pontoise-Cormeilles airfield near Paris as part of an exercise involving 30 partners, including German eVTOL aircraft developer Volocopter. The UK-based group also has secured government funding to build a vertiport at an undisclosed general aviation airport in the London area. In addition, it has been involved in advanced air mobility development work in Asian countries including Singapore, South Korea, and Japan. 

    The new Living Lab was announced on October 6 at the start of Joby’s “Field Trip” event, during which it will welcome groups of partners and investors to examine its pilot manufacturing facility where it is building its first production-conforming prototype aircraft. The partners intend to showcase the mobile passenger terminal across the U.S. over the next 18 months, giving the industry and the public a clearer view of what eVTOL commercial operations could look like. 

    “We expect the Living Lab to be instrumental in our efforts to engage regulators, government officials, and the public to demonstrate the benefits of electric vertical takeoff and landing operations and promote acceptance of this new form of mobility,” said Skyports CEO Duncan Walker. “Our aim is to develop vertiport infrastructure that delivers a ‘zero-wait’ check-in experience for customers, and we’re delighted to be working with Joby, one of the leading companies in this sector, to prepare for that future.”