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Company signs MOU to explore integrating vertiports with national parking lot operator
June 7, 2022
Air-taxi vertiport developer and operator Skyports signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan’s largest parking-lot and car-sharing operator, PARK 24 Co. Ltd., to explore integrating Skyports’ advanced air mobility (AAM) infrastructure with PARK 24’s parking and car-sharing network.
Other participants in the agreement include Japanese general insurance provider Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. Ltd., which provides insurance for ground infrastructure and related AAM services, and Kanematsu Corp., which has been collaborating with Skyports since April 2020.
The four partners will conduct joint investigative work, including feasibility studies, to determine which PARK 24 parking lots are suited for vertiport service, such as take-off and landing sites and charging stations for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) passenger craft. The group will focus on Japan’s Kansai region, particularly Osaka, as well as other areas in the country.
“The partnership will enable us to leverage PARK24’s extensive portfolio of facilities for vertiport development to unlock value for PARK24’s customers, partners and the users in surrounding communities,” Skyports head of APAC Yun-Yuan Tay said. “We look forward to playing a part in this first critical step in enhancing mobility services with our partners, as we work collectively to accelerate the development and adoption of AAM in Japan.”
Kanematsu is a 130-year-old Japanese conglomerate with business dealings in electronics, food, steel, motor vehicles and aerospace, among other areas. An early investor in Skyports, the company has been providing on-ground expertise and networks in Japan as the U.K.-based company seeks business opportunities there.
As Skyports’ partner in Japan since 2020, the four-way agreement represents a major milestone for Kanematsu, senior executive officer for motor vehicles and aerospace Ryoichi Kidokoro says.
“We are very happy to launch collaboration among four parties based on the broad expertise of mobility areas of each party with AAM,” Kidokoro said. “Based on this partnership, we will accelerate the business development of vertiport infrastructure in Japan and contribute to the realization of ‘air mobility revolution.’”
John Yellig has been a journalist for more than 20 years, writing and editing for a range of publications both in print and online. His primary coverage areas over the years have included criminal justice, politics, government, finance, real estate and technology.
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