Air taxi vertiport developer and operator, Skyports, and Japan’s largest parking lot and car sharing operator, Park24, have signed an agreement to explore the development and integration of vertiport infrastructure of “advanced air mobility” (AAM) into Park24’s parking and car sharing network.
The agreement also involves partners including Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, a Japanese general insurance company, and Kanematsu Corporation.
Aioi Nissay Dowa provides and arranges insurance for ground infrastructure and related air mobility services and aim to develop a mobility as a service that seamlessly integrates air and land.
Since April 2020, Kanematsu and Skyports have worked in close collaboration to develop AAM operations and infrastructure in Japan. Kanematsu provides essential on-ground expertise and networks, in support of Skyports’ continued work in growing Japan’s AAM capabilities. The Japanese conglomerate is also an investor in Skyports.
Under the new agreement, the parties will conduct joint investigative work, including feasibility assessments, in Kansai Region, particularly in Osaka, and other locations to establish which of Park24’s parking lots are suitable for vertiport infrastructure development.
The vertiports will serve as take-off and landing nodes for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft, while also doubling up as dedicated charging sites.
In addition, the participating companies will assess the potential to establish a joint business plan for the development and operation of vertiport infrastructure as well as explore the business case for first and last mile car sharing services for AAM operators.
Yun-Yuan Tay, head of APAC at Skyports, says: “Skyports is proud to partner with Park24, Kanematsu Group, and Aioi Nissay Dowa, to contribute our expertise in vertiport design, development and operations, and bring AAM a step closer for the Japanese people.
“The partnership will enable us to leverage Park24’s extensive portfolio of facilities for vertiport development to unlock value for Park24’s customers, partners, and the users in surrounding communities.
“We look forward to playing a part in this first critical step in enhancing mobility services with our partners, as we work collectively to accelerate the development and adoption of AAM in Japan.”
Kenichi Sasaki, Park24 director, senior executive corporate officer, Park24, says: “We are very pleased to participate in the Vertiport business in Japan with these wonderful partners.
“The brand concept of Times – Park24’s service brands, such as parking facilities and car-sharing – is ‘Mobility Link’.
“By connecting every means of mobility seamlessly, Times will link people, the mobility users, and the local communities, transforming those places into attractive destinations. We have high expectations that the Vertiport business will become an indispensable business for our brand concept of Mobility Link.”
Mitsuru Yamaguchi, senior managing executive officer, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, says: “We are very pleased to collaborate with these wonderful partners on the Vertiport business in Japan.
“This partnership is a valuable first step in building the ground infrastructure that will be indispensable for eVTOL, which are expected to become a new form of mobility.
“We are committed to the security and safety of our customers who use eVTOL and Vertiport, to understanding their needs and developing new services, and to solving social issues such as future mobility services and a carbon-neutral society through the spread and development of flying cars.
“We hope to contribute to the realization of the ‘air mobility revolution’ through synergies generated by cooperation with our partners.”
Ryoichi Kidokoro, senior executive officeer, chief officer, motor vehicles and aerospace division Kanematsu Corporation, says: “We are pleased to announce that we signed the MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Park24, Aioi Nissay Dowa, and Skyports.
“As the Japanese partner of Skyports, we have been actively working with the company to explore business opportunities of AAM in Japan based on joint-marketing and relating activities since 2020.
“Then, stakeholder partnership is one of the most important milestones for us. In this context, we are very happy to launch collaboration among four parties based on the broad expertise of mobility areas of each party with AAM.
“Based on this partnership, we will accelerate the business development of vertiport infrastructure in Japan and contribute to the realization of ‘air mobility revolution’.”
Park24 is a household name in Japan, adopting a technology-first approach to deliver greater convenience, comfort, and mobility services for its customers.
Aside from car park and ride sharing services, Park24 Group also provides a comprehensive suite of offerings including payment services, road assistance services and financial planning services.
To elevate the company’s services to bring enhanced mobility services to its broad base of customers, Park24’s partnership with Skyports serves as the next step in enabling the seamless integration of AAM into its customer-centric philosophy and operations.
Through the course of the partnership, Skyports will continue working closely with regulatory bodies and local communities in Japan to ensure a holistic approach to advancing the country’s AAM ecosystem that prioritizes safety, connectivity, and accessibility for all.