German firm Volocopter said Tuesday it will conduct test flights in Singapore in the second half of next year with the support of the government, to validate and verify the ability of Volocopter’s eVTOL vehicles to operate in Singapore’s urban environment, and will culminate in public demo flights.

The series of test are supported by the Ministry of Transport (MOT), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and Economic Development Board (EDB).

Volocopters are emission-free, electrically powered aircraft that take off and land vertically. They resemble a helicopter in looks, but are based on drone technology and can fly two people for just short of 30 km. The Volocopter is designed specifically for inner city missions.

According to the manufacturer, it features an extremely stable flight allowing it to maneuver micro turbulences around skyscrapers, thus offering a smooth ride for passengers. It is so quiet that at a flight height of 100 m, it cannot be heard over the typical background noise of a city, the manufacturer stated.

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“There is potential for air taxis, or eVTOLs, to transform mobility and logistics in urban cities. Volocopter is at the forefront of such new and innovative technology in the aviation industry,” said Mr. Ho Yuen Sang, Director (Aviation Industry), CAAS.

“We are getting ready to start implementing the first fixed routes in cities,” says Florian Reuter CEO of Volocopter. “Singapore is a logical partner: The city is a true pioneer in technology and city development. We are confident this is another exciting step to make air taxi services a reality.”

Volocopter and CAAS will work together to establish the scope of the flight trials and ensure that the necessary requirements are met before flight tests are allowed to commence. In addition to the flight tests, Volocopter will be setting up a product design and engineering team in Singapore to support its expansion plans.