The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau has commissioned Skyports and Eve Urban Air Mobility to develop a concept of operations (CONOPS) for advanced air mobility in the country, including eVTOL air taxi services. The project, which is also backed by Japan Airlines and trading group Kanematsu, will focus on issues such as airspace design for eVTOL aircraft, operational arrangements, and infrastructure, the companies announced on February 17.
The Japanese government has established a Public-Private Conference for the Future of Air Mobility Revolution and has expressed support for plans to launch commercial eVTOL flights during the 2025 World Expo to be held in Osaka. This objective—which is being advanced by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Investment and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism—also involves other eVTOL vehicle developers, including Joby, Vertical Aerospace, EHang, Volocopter, and local manufacturer SkyDrive.
This week, during a press conference at the Singapore Airshow, Eve’s co-CEO, Andre Stein, said the company aims to be ready to fly a full-scale proof-of-concept prototype of its four-passenger eVTOL aircraft within the next few months. It seeks to bring the aircraft into service in 2026 with a range of just over 60 miles. The company predicts that by 2035, the Asia-Pacific region will be the world’s largest AAM market with over 25,000 eVTOL aircraft making 400,000 flights each day and carrying 500 million passengers per year. It also has plans to support air taxi operations in the Americas.
“Our partnership with Eve continues to provide an important means of helping authorities around the world understand and develop optimum conditions to enable commercial electric air taxi operations,” said Skyports CEO Duncan Walker. “We are honored to be able to bring our unique knowledge of infrastructure provision to bear for JCAB to accelerate the adoption of advanced air mobility across Japan.”
Skyports, which already operates commercial cargo drone flights, intends to develop and operate vertiports worldwide. It is also partnered with other eVTOL aircraft developers including Volocopter, and also with South Korean group Hanwha, which is partnered with U.S. company Overair to develop the Butterfly aircraft.