Skyports Infrastructure (Skyports) has signed an agreement to develop the UK’s first vertiport testbed at Bicester Motion, Oxfordshire, the 444-acre estate dedicated to pioneering mobility technology, past, present and future.

The new vertiport, which will include a compact 160 sq m passenger terminal, will be a critical facility for testing ground infrastructure and flight operations and will play a significant role in enabling the next generation of electric, low noise aviation in the UK.

The vertiport, positioned adjacent to Bicester Motion’s existing general aviation grass runways, will continue the airfield’s long history of aerospace innovation. It will also align with Bicester Motion’s strategic vision to integrate both traditional and vertical aviation operations from its airfield.

Developed as part of the Advanced Mobility Ecosystem Consortium and backed by Innovate UK’s Future Flight Challenge, the vertiport will serve as a key node for early vertiport network planning and demonstrations, as well as for the Consortium’s wider testing programme and public and stakeholder engagement. This will include being flown at by Vertical Aerospace, the global company developing one of the world’s most advanced electric aircraft in the UK, to conduct demonstration flights and test key procedures ahead of commercial launch.

Skyports will aim to open the doors to its UK vertiport by the end of 2024 to align with the AMEC testing programme.

Skyports’ new vertiport at Bicester Motion will include:

  • A compact terminal, constructed on a plot of 0.42 acres (0.17 hectares), to showcase vertiport infrastructure’s efficient nature and highlight the capacity for seamless integration into urban landscapes, where space is at a premium, and facilitate fast passenger throughput.
  • Passenger processing facilities which will include access control gates, weight and balance optimisation, and identity validation, verification and screening. The addition of a dedicated passenger lounge will demonstrate a comprehensive customer experience.
  • Operations room will be equipped with Skyports’ suite of Vertiport Automation System (VAS) technology, which will feature a bespoke resource management and scheduling module, to enable high throughput aircraft agnostic operations.
  • Situational awareness module to provide visualisation tools for comprehensive airspace and vertiport perimeter monitoring. The airside area will comprise a single final approach and take off area and one stand.