Flying taxis could transport athletes around the 2032 Brisbane Olympics with the first landing site chosen and plans to manufacture the aircraft in Queensland unveiled.
Skyportz announced its plans to create a transport hub north of Brisbane in Moreton Bay at the Air Taxi World Congress in London.
The plans details the hub, the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Centre of Excellence (AACME), which is expected to be completed by 2023.
The development, headed up by Venlo Investments, will transform a 3ha site within The Mill at Moreton Bay based in Petrie, near the new Sunshine Coast University Campus.
Skyportz chief executive Clem Newton-Brown said they had been accumulating sites since 2018 and have 400 property partners ready to build “mini airports” across the country.
“There is strong political support to develop a new era in clean, green electric aviation in Australia, however, we are waiting on federal standards and new state regulations to be developed before we can proceed to building a network,” Newton-Brown said.
“For this reason we are focusing initially on existing aviation infrastructure and places where it is possible to get a permit for a helipad which can transition into a future Skyportz.
“The AACME site was already proposing a helipad so this partnership has enabled us to bring forward our plans.”
Newton-Brown, a former deputy lord mayor of Melbourne and Yarra River water taxi service provider, said they were also in the process of identifying sites near the Olympic venues to join the network of facilities.
AAMCE director Ty Hermans said the site was perfectly suited to become a major transport hub and support the future of air mobility and was located near a major metro train station.
“We are providing for it as part of our design phase that we are currently in at the moment,” Hermans told The Urban Developer.
“Obviously it is subject to various approvals in the future.
“To us it makes perfect sense that the most advanced manufacturing centre in Australia should include the most advanced transport system possible in its design.
“Brisbane is busily preparing for the Olympic Games in 2032 which will provide a great opportunity for the city to embrace a new form of transportation and showcase it to the world.”
Hermans said the development was quickly gaining international interest and would be focused on commercial manufacturing rather than innovation.
The announcement follows Vicinity Centres strategy to increase its drone delivery program across the country for retail purchases.
However, the Skyportz vehicles operate on a larger scale with the company signing an agreement with Electra.aero to buy 100 vehicles with the ability to lift up to 800kg expected to service Melbourne.