Ferrovial, a leading global infrastructure operator, has announced plans to build a network of 25 eVTOL vertiports across the United Kingdom.
The project will provide dedicated sites for eVTOL aircraft to take off, land, and recharge. The vertiports are expected to integrate with other transportation modes to better connect cities and regions across the U.K.
“The partnership between vertiports and eVTOLs will provide high-speed, affordable, emissions-free travel to millions of people,” said Kevin Cox, who was recently appointed CEO of Ferrovial Vertiports. “This network will boost local economies with a new model of regional connectivity.”
Ferrovial said it has partnered with international architecture practice Grimshaw and global engineering, management, and development consultancy Mott MacDonald to develop the design and engineering components of the vertiport infrastructure.
U.K.-based eVTOL developer Vertical Aerospace expects Ferrovial’s vertiports to facilitate the launch of operations with its VA-X4, a piloted, four-passenger, fully electric aircraft that Virgin Atlantic has selected for its future air taxi service in the country.
“Our partnership with Ferrovial is an important step forward in bringing the VA-X4 to the skies,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO and founder of Vertical, in a press release. “Creating the right infrastructure for zero-emissions aviation is a critical part in making urban air mobility a reality. I look forward to flying between Ferrovial’s vertiports in the VA-X4 in just a few years’ time.”
Vertical also announced this week that it is collaborating with Heathrow Airport to explore the launch of its services from the airport by the mid-2020s. Ferrovial, which has interests in 33 airports worldwide, holds the largest shareholder stake in Heathrow, as well as having part ownership of Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Southampton airports in the U.K.
In addition to working with Vertical Aerospace on the project, Ferrovial said it has a collaboration agreement with the German eVTOL developer Lilium to “enable a fast and pragmatic deployment plan.”
Ferrovial is separately working with Lilium on a vertiport network in Florida. Commissioners in Palm Beach County, Florida, recently cleared the way for Ferrovial and Lilium to build a vertiport on five acres of land at Palm Beach International Airport at a minimum cost of US$7 million.
According to Palm Beach County Commissioner Robert Weinroth, construction will occur over the next 36 months. The county expects the infrastructure could potentially generate over $54 million in economic benefits for the county and create 150 jobs with annual salaries averaging $67,000.