Fethi Chebil, CEO and founder of VPorts, said the company’s planned network will extend to all major Quebec regions by 2030, and will also include remote communities that are not adequately served by land transportation or are underserved by aviation.
“Similar to heliports, the vertiports will be designed for take-off and landing by eVTOLs,” Chebil said. “Our initial growth strategy is based on regional transportation of goods and efficient movement of patients, organs for transplants, and medical equipment.”
The company said its network will target areas that would improve the connection between multimodal transportation. This includes Mirabel Helico, St-Hubert Airport, and major agglomerations, such as Quebec City, Ottawa-Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Drummondville, Mont-Tremblant, Trois-Rivières, Ste-Marie de Beauce and Rivière-du-Loup. It will also include the network of airports in the north region of Quebec, operated by Transports Quebec.
Chebil anticipates the first vertiport sites will be established at existing helipads and airports, but industrial and commercial areas are also options that the company is considering. Each vertiport will be equipped with battery charging and hydrogen fuel stations.
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“We look forward to collaborating with Transport Canada, Nav Canada, the Government of Quebec, and municipal officials on defining safety and security regulations, flight corridors, urban integration and community engagement for this important undertaking that will benefit our communities,” Chebil said.
VPorts has secured key partnerships to develop its vertiport ecosystem, including engineering firm Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR) to develop the operational concept and requirements, including the integration of air traffic management.
VPorts is also working with UAM Geomatics, which will handle cost and revenue forecasting, geospatial mapping and vertiport network location mapping, as well as Innovitech, which will develop a stakeholder management strategy focused on social acceptance, and AEdifica, which will develop an architectural concept for the network.
The company also plans to work closely with Quebec universities and research centers to develop its vertiport operation control center (VOCC).
Beyond Quebec, VPorts intends to build and operate 1,500 vertiports cross five continents by 2045, and recently took steps to reach this target.
The AAM infrastructure startup said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with a consortium of international organizations, including Aéro Montréal, NUAIR, Innovitech, the Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence and Helijet International, to develop an AAM corridor between Quebec and the U.S. All eVTOL aircraft will have access to the corridor to conduct flight testing.