Japan is one of the world’s innovation powerhouses. For decades, the country has led the way in robotics, electronics and the automotive industry – and now, is set to be a frontrunner in initiating the next transport revolution through the development and implementation of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM).
From the diverse cityscape of Osaka to the bustling capital city of Tokyo through our latest project for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced in August 2022, Skyports’ steady trajectory in Japan continues.
The Tokyo consortium is led by multi-national real estate developer Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. (MEC), in conjunction with Japan’s flag carrier Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL), and our investor and board member, major Japanese trading company, Kanematsu Corporation (Kanematsu). Kanematsu will provide its expertise on global technology and regulatory trends, along with developing the business model for vertiport management services. Through our ongoing partnership with Kanematsu, Skyports Infrastructure will support Kanematsu in the process. Real estate assets will be provided by consortium lead, MEC, while JAL will provide its expertise in the planning and conduct of eVTOL flight demonstrations and operations.
We have also made promising progress in Osaka. On 7 September 2022, we were awarded a funding subsidy by the Osaka Prefecture to further our technical site feasibility studies at a potential vertiport site in the city.
A converging tale of two cities
Through the strong partnership with our investor, Kanematsu Corporation, we have made significant progress in supporting the efforts of the forward-looking Japanese government, its regulatory agencies and private sector corporations in maturing the AAM industry in Japan. With these recent developments, Skyports has now secured two projects in the prime Japanese cities of Osaka and Tokyo this year.
Our work in Osaka and Tokyo represents a diversity of opportunities for AAM development in cityscapes, with assessments conducted across different locations, accounting for both low and high-rise landscapes, and the eventual integration of vertiport locations across sites and deployment types. In both cities, there is a compelling case for the deployment of AAM technology. From the goal of alleviating ground congestion to disaster relief operations, and even touristic flights – these universal benefits highlight AAM’s wide ranging applicability across global markets.
Towards a synchronised lift-off in 2025
Our work is already underway in Osaka and will play an important role in informing our efforts in Tokyo. In Osaka, we have commenced feasibility assessments of PARK24’s extensive portfolio of sites and remain on track as we work towards the Osaka 2025 World Expo launch timeline. In the broader context of Japan, the project in the capital city of Tokyo will play an important role in the development of the industry as a whole, as the country continues to work towards the launch of commercial operations from around 2025.
To oversee our growing portfolio of projects in Japan, Atsushi Okada joined our team in September 2022 as Country Manager, Japan. Atsushi will oversee both our infrastructure and drone services operations in the country, and lead in facilitating an extensive list of priorities including real estate agreements, local stakeholder engagement, regulatory approvals, airport and airspace planning, operational procedures, and enabling technology.
With Skyports’ continued progress across the globe, we look forward to being able to contribute our expertise and shared findings across our portfolio of projects to bring AAM closer to operational readiness in the coming years.