Skyportz, Contreras Earl Architecture and Pascall+Watson Architects are to release a concept for an Australian waterfront e-mobility hub
The proposal will replace an existing heliport on the Yarra River in Melbourne with a new purpose built vertiport designed to accommodate the introduction of clean, quiet, electric air taxis.
Waterfront sites provide the safest access for electric air taxis in terms of aviation requirements for clear approach and departure paths
A floorplan for the vertiport
Under this plan, the site would also be a multimodal hub for electric scooters, bikes, ferries and hire boats. A cafe would provide an area for people to view the action.
“We have been developing designs and concepts for vertiports for five years and we keep coming back to waterfront sites being the most practical to retrofit cities for Advanced Air Mobility. The reality is that waterfront sites provide the safest access for electric air taxis in terms of aviation requirements for clear approach and departure paths,” said Skyportz CEO Clem Newton-Brown.
“Waterfront sites are also likely to be one of the few places where land can be found to accommodate terminals and there is also the option for floating landing pads.”
The vertiport's high-performance roof
According to Newton-Brown, the design is the result of addressing many different important parameters, including sustainability, context, climate, community and the user experience. He explained that the vertiport will feature a high-performance roof designed to be structurally robust, lightweight and sustainable, thanks to its aluminium monocoque structure – the same system employed in the manufacturing of cars and aircraft.
“The key to this industry is breaking the nexus between aviation and existing airports. We need to develop a network of new vertiport sites if the industry is to reach its potential and we see the greatest potential in waterfront locations,” he added.