Volatus Infrastructure has agreed to build what it says will be an FAA-compliant vertiport for eVTOL aircraft at Pennsylvania's privately owned, public-use Bellefonte Airport, which serves the State College area, including Penn State University. The company expects the vertiport—which eventually could have up to eight landing pads, each with a charging station—to be operational later this year. It will initially have a single landing pad with one accompanying charging station.
“A project that started out as a way to get fans to Penn State [football] games without sitting in traffic on Interstate 80 and State Route 322 has turned into what will become the center of an eVTOL ecosystem for the East Coast,” said Grant Fisk, Volatus Infrastructure co-founder. “We realized that Bellefonte Airport is within 90 miles of all the major cities, so it just makes sense to expand this location, which will lay the foundation for the eVTOL infrastructure ecosystem for the East Coast.” Marina Elnitski owns and operates the airport, which sits on land that was one of the first U.S. airmail stops nearly a century ago.
Based in Neenah, Wisconsin, Volatus Infrastructure is developing small and scalable vertiports that can be built in under four weeks for as little as $500,000, making it “by a very large margin the most affordable, cost-conscious eVTOL infrastructure option out there,” Fisk told FutureFlight.
Volatus Infrastructure’s vertiports will offer eVTOL aircraft a space to recharge, take off, and land while providing an indoor facility where passengers can rest and prepare to board their flights. The company’s vertiports are also easily scalable, meaning that additional landing pads and passenger facilities can be added as demand increases for eVTOL flights. “It's something that can be very easily expanded and scaled up to meet future needs…it’s designed to grow and expand with the industry,” Fisk said.