Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), eVTOL, and Vertiport

Photo: NASA –  In recent years Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), eVTOL, and Vertiport have become technologies actively developed by developed countries. NASA, the FAA, and many companies, from startups such as Volocopter and Lilium to the world's largest aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus and Boeing, compete to be at the forefront of this technology. What are AAM, eVTOL and Vertiport?


Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) is a new concept of air transportation using Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft to move people and goods between places.

This concept is often called Urban Air Mobility (UAM) because this transportation concept is to operate aircraft and transport passengers or cargo at lower altitudes in urban and suburban areas.

Figure 1. Urban Air Mobility (UAM) concept (Source:

A country that develops its technological capabilities and is the first to deliver a cutting-edge AAM product that is safe, accessible, secure, and available at scale can become a global leader. Therefore, the United States, through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), continues to make efforts to develop these technologies through research and related policies.

Together with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Union (EU) also continues to strive for the aviation industry, especially for AAM technology in Europe, to become the main driver at the global level. EASA has made efforts to develop regulations related to airworthiness, pilot operations and licenses, air space integration, and research and development (R&D).

According to Deloitte and AIA analysis, it is estimated that the AAM market for passenger and cargo mobility in the United States will reach approximately USD 115 billion by 2035, or equivalent to 30% of the US commercial aerospace market and 0.5% of GDP in 2019. Cargo mobility is expected to be the first to grow, while passenger mobility is expected to start slowly but catch up and exceed beyond 2035.

Figure 2. AAM Passenger and Cargo Market Growth Forecast (Source: Deloitte dan AIA Analysis)


As the name suggests, eVTOL is an electric-powered aircraft that takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter and flies horizontally like an airplane in general.

The eVTOL concept first appeared in a NASA Puffin concept video in 2010. Since then, other concept aircraft have emerged, such as AugustaWestland Project Zero (Italy), Volocopter VC1 (Germany), and Opener BlackFly (United States). Then, other concept aircraft appeared, such as AugustaWestland Project Zero (Italy), Volocopter VC1 (Germany), and Opener BlackFly (United States). The Vertical Flight Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) introduced those concepts in 2014 at the event " Transformative Vertical Flight Concepts Joint Workshop on Enabling New Flight Concepts through Novel Propulsion and Energy Architectures" held in Virginia, United States.


Figure 3. Puffin Aircraft Concept (Source: NASA)

Since then, companies like Airbus, Boeing, and Bell have helped develop eVTOL technology. Startups also develop eVTOL technology and often become leaders in technological advancements.

Most designs of the eVTOL are almost wingless. Instead, eVTOL uses a radial arm as a rotor or propeller mount. However, not a few eVTOL developers have combined wings and rotors.

Some eVTOL applications include Air Taxi, developed by most developers such as Hyundai, Boeing and Lilium. They claim that eVTOL will be a more efficient and faster means of transportation than ground transportation.

Apart from being used as an Air Taxi, eVTOL will also be used to send goods, starting with large cargoes and small packages. A German company, Sabrewing Aircraft Company, is developing an unmanned aircraft planned to carry loads of up to 5,400 pounds.

Figure 4. Sabrewing Aircraft Concept (Source:

Then, eVTOL will be applied for medical assistance. Recently, Blade Air Mobility has been developing eVTOL as a means of organ transportation, which usually only carries a number of medical personnel on board. Volocopter is also working with Germany's leading emergency helicopter service to study the feasibility of eVTOL for emergency activities such as rescue.

Another application of eVTOL is for recreational or tourist activities. In addition, military activities have also used eVTOL a lot, in this case, drones.


Vertiport is an area designed for vertical takeoff and landing of eVTOL aircraft, similar to a heliport for helicopters. Vertiport can be built on land or the top of a building.

According to an FAA document entitled Vertiport Design Standards for Advanced Air Mobility, the operational requirements of a vertiport facility include:

  • Landing area design and layout/geometry;
  • Approach and departure paths;
  • Electric charging stations;
  • Safety requirements for batteries and other hazardous materials;
  • Noise requirements.

Currently, several companies in the world are developing and will build vertiports, including Skyports and Ferrovial. In addition, Hyundai, along with Urban-Air Port, is also developing similar facilities and planning to build 65 vertiports in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Figure 5. Hyundai Vertiport Ilustration (Source: Hyundai)

Skyports is also building their trial vertiport at Cergy-Pontoise Airfield, France, in preparation for the Paris Olympics in 2024. The vertiport will be equipped with a series of technologies such as biometric identity management, Situational Awareness Technology, electric charging stations for eVTOL, and weather stations.

Figure 6. Skyports Vertiport Illustration (Source:

Advanced Air Mobility Development in Indonesia

In Indonesia, the development of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) has not been as massive as in developed countries, but companies and startups have already begun to develop or introduce this technology.

A startup from Bantul, Yogyakarta, FrogsID, is developing an eVTOL named Frogs 282. The number 282 means capable of carrying 2 passengers, equipped with 8 engines and is the 2nd generation. In March 2020, Frogs 282 conducted its first flight test at Gading Airfield, Playen, Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta.

Figure 7. Frogs 282 (Source:

Prestige Image Motorcars, owned by automotive entrepreneur Rudy Salim will also introduce eVTOL aircraft, but they will act as importers. The eVTOL they brought to Indonesia is the EHang 216, produced by Guangzhou EHang Intelligent Technology Co. Ltd. The EHang 216 is equipped with 16 propellers mounted on eight foldable arms. EHang itself has carried out a flight test in Klungkung, Bali, on November 26, 2021.

If Indonesia wants to compete in aerospace technology, the government should start moving. Indeed, developing AAM is not easy and can be done immediately; it requires regulations, infrastructure, and qualified resources.

It is hoped that with companies such as FrogsID and Prestige Image Motorcars, other companies will follow in their footsteps, and Indonesia will not be left behind. Maybe in the next 5-10 years, we will see or fly using eVTOL in the Indonesian sky. Let's look forward to it together.

Giovanni Pratama

Giovanni Pratama

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