Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) operations refer to the use of electrically powered aircraft that have vertical take-off and landing capabilities. Some eVTOL aircraft are also capable of using runways and corresponding approaches like conventional aircraft. They are often seen as a promising solution for urban air mobility and other short-distance transportation needs due to their potential for reduced noise, emissions, and operational costs compared to conventional helicopters.
Some eVTOL aircraft are designed to be piloted, while others are taking the autonomous approach. Either way, there are numerous benefits and challenges for this emerging aviation sector.
At SkyNet Aviation, our powerful REACH Aero platform is ready to be a key component in eVTOL OCC.
Your OCC platform will need to have some key functional differences in order to support a an eVTOL OCC over a conventional air operation. Here’s why…
- On-demand and Scheduled Operations
Many eVTOL companies are being created under the concept of Urban Air Mobility (UAM). This means high-frequency trips, point-to-point with a mix of scheduled operations and on-demand walk up services.
Think of it like ride sharing services. You can schedule a pick up at a specific time, or you simply open the app and request an on-demand ride. The eVTOL space in aviation is trending in exactly this direction.
Your OCC platform will need to be able to handle a mix of scheduled and on-demand flights. Even the “scheduled” flying will be a mix of flights that are required by customers in an hour, a day, a week, or a month in advance!
Aircraft in your fleet will perform all of these types of operations during the day, which means so will your crew. That leads us to our second point…
- Crew Management System (CMS)
If your eVTOL operation has crew members, they will need to have roster flexibility to make sure they can ensure the viability of your service offering.
Using the SkyNet Aviation REACH Aero platform, you will have the ability to roster the crew to the aircraft, the aircraft to the crew, or both simultaneously. Furthermore, you can schedule crew members to be on standby at each port and pick up flying as the on-demand jobs come in.
Automation, responsiveness, and flexibility in your CMS is absolutely key to running a successful eVTOL operation.
- Aircraft Considerations
eVTOL aircraft are brand new, cutting-edge technology. This means your OCC will have access to communicate with the aircraft that current generation aircraft do not have. There will also be data endpoints and capabilities that legacy aircraft do not have. Is your OCC platform ready? SkyNet Aviation REACH Aero is!
- Flight planning
Depending on your operating environment, most eVTOLs will be required to file flight plans. How will you calculate if the aircraft has enough energy (i.e., fuel) to conduct the operation safely? What about on the turnaround, will the eVTOL require a recharge? If yes, how long will the recharge take?
These are not entirely new considerations for an aircraft turnaround, but they are different enough that your OCC software will need to handle them effectively.
- Infrastructure Requirements – Vertiports
The term being used for eVTOL landing locations is a vertiport. Vertiports can be located in many places where a conventional airport would not be. Furthermore, a vertiport can have vertical take-off/landing locations as we all conventional approaches to runways. Your OCC software will need to differentiate between the two, often permitting operations to both.
Another factor to consider is the occupancy of landing pads. Will the vertiport have multiple distinct landing pads, or a single take-off/landing pad with the aircraft then taxiing or being towed to a parking position?
How will you identify for the staff at the vertiport and the pilot in the eVTOL aircraft when the landing location is clear for use? Are there any other aircraft on approach to that landing pad? Is an eVTOL aircraft attempting to land on a landing pad that is already occupied? Overall, eVTOL operations represent a potentially transformative development in aviation, with the potential to revolutionise urban transportation. However, there are still significant technical, regulatory, and infrastructure challenges to overcome, but SkyNet Aviation REACH Aero has you covered!