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Skyports unveils plan to launch advanced air mobility in urban Japan

Skyports Infrastructure has revealed its involvement in the next phase of research for a Concept of Operations (ConOps) for advanced air mobility (AAM) for the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB).

The company will continue to work alongside its ConOps partners Kanematsu Corporation, Japan Airlines and Eve Air Mobility to define Japan’s framework for the development and implementation of advanced air mobility operations in Japan.

The ConOps is designed as a critical reference point for companies that are considering entering the Japanese AAM market.

The first iteration, published in March this year, established the foundations for initial commercial operations in Japan and objectives for scaling eVTOL services across the country.

This next phase of the project will develop a second iteration of the ConOps to reflect changes in global AAM development and regulation, further explore use cases, and add new input from stakeholders.

Since the ConOps project launched in 2021, Skyports Infrastructure has provided invaluable insight into the development and operation of vertiport infrastructure for Japan’s future eVTOL transport networks.

The second iteration, planned for publication in 2024, will embed new learnings from its contributors, leveraging their distinct expertise for a Japanese context.

Skyports Infrastructure will apply learnings from ongoing vertiport testing campaigns at Skyports London Heliport and its European testbed facility at the Groupe ADP-owned Pontoise-Cormeilles Airfield in Paris, which the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau visited earlier this year.

The research, findings and recommendations set out in the document play a pivotal role in the execution and implementation of eVTOL services.

The new iteration will further outline key workstreams and timelines for industry development, and highlight the imminent need for critical infrastructure, regulation and process development to begin.

Atsushi Okada, Japan country lead at Skyports Infrastructure, says: “The PPC ConOps lays the groundwork for Japan’s advanced air mobility industry.

“The convergence of public and private stakeholders working towards the goal of enabling Japan’s future AAM industry is an indicator of two things: first, that collaboration between industry and government is critical to our mission; and second, that the time has come for execution.

“We’re proud to contribute our deep expertise of vertiport infrastructure and technology to support the development of AAM in Japan.”

David Rottblatt, vice president of sales and government affairs at Eve Air Mobility, says: “Eve has supported this effort since the beginning and we are pleased to provide our ongoing support to help enable the future of the Japanese AAM industry, in particular the traffic management of eVTOLs.

“This effort will play an incredibly important role in the development and safe integration of eVTOL aircraft in Japan.”

The ConOps is an output of the Public-Private Committee for Advanced Air Mobility (PPC), an industry development board formed jointly by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in 2018 to bring together public and private representatives of the AAM industry to develop the next generation of air mobility in Japan.

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