Arup supports Volocopter to produce vertiport design handbook

Hester Duijndam, Arup Hester Duijndam Europe Press Office, Netherlands
16 December 2021

Urban Air Mobility (UAM) pioneer Volocopter has unveiled a comprehensive design handbook that details the ground infrastructure requirements to support electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft operations. 

Arup worked with Volocopter and design partners GRAFT Architects and Bayards Aluminium Constructions to deliver a robust, globally applicable vertiport concept with a minimal footprint that can be placed in densely populated urban areas. The result is a modular, scalable and demountable vertiport design concept that uses prefabricated materials and can be installed in sites as small as 625 m².

UAM solutions are pushing forward the electrification of air transport, which will help propel the aviation industry in its journey towards net zero. The supporting ground infrastructure should equally minimise its impact on the cities it is built in, creating a sustainable air transportation system in metropolitan areas. 

A key driver will be delivering the most sustainable vertiport design possibleArup worked together with Volocopter and the design team partners to develop a sustainability strategy based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and existing building certification frameworks such as LEED and BREEAMThe resulting design framework will form the foundations of the global implementation of the concept.

As a key part of the Volocopter ecosystem, the vertiport design handbook enables the development of the infrastructure needed to deploy a UAM network in target cities. The modular vertiport concept is designed to be flexible, allowing it to be deployed in a wide range of contexts including on the ground, on rooftops or over water, with its configuration adaptable to local requirements and site constraints. 

As the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry becomes increasingly dynamic, we need to support the development of sustainable infrastructure that delivers social and transport related benefits to the communities that use it. We are proud to support Volocopter’s commitment to sustainable aviation through zero-emission aircraft and sustainable vertiport facilities as they look to build an AAM ecosystem. ” Paul Hermans Airport Planner | Aviation Business Leader, Netherlands

Arup provided aviation planning services, considering vertiport guidelines currently under development to deliver a safe and efficient concept that complies with existing EASA and ICAO regulatory standards. This helped to create a vertiport design concept aligned with existing regulations, but flexible enough to adapt to future regulatory requirements. Arup provided project management services for the project and our team of specialists also developed the mechanical, electrical and fire strategies for the modular vertiport concept, adaptable to meet the needs of a wide range of hot, cold and/or humid climates.