On the Up: Atkins and Vertical Aerospace Collaborate to Take Urban Transportation to the Skies


Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, is collaborating with electric aircraft company Vertical Aerospace to help develop intercity air taxi services that will revolutionise urban travel.

Vertical Aerospace is among the first companies in the world to build and fly a full scale, fully electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) and is working towards commercial flight by 2023.

Atkins – one of the world’s leading design, engineering and project management consultancies – is at the forefront intelligent mobility, helping industry reimagine infrastructure across all transport modes, enabled by data, technology and innovative ideas.

Jointly located in Bristol, with its long-standing aviation heritage, this unique collaboration between Vertical Aerospace and Atkins brings together extensive industry expertise with the aim of revolutionising how people fly globally.

Together, Vertical Aerospace and Atkins plan to develop a blueprint for Urban Air Mobility, with Atkins designing the system and infrastructure around the air vehicle. The blueprint will cover aviation infrastructure, passenger experience, operating models, intelligent mobility and cyber security. The partnership builds upon the vehicle safety and certification support Atkins is currently providing to Vertical Aerospace.

Philip Hoare, President of Atkins, said: “As the world’s population continues to grow, our current city transportation models, associated infrastructure and ways of operating will need to adapt to meet unprecedented demand. Vertical Aerospace and Atkins’s pioneering work to take on-demand travel skyward, by developing a system in which eVTOL can operate, has the potential to revolutionise future city and regional transportation.”

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace, said: “As we push ahead with developing the technology to decarbonise flight, we must keep passenger experience and safety at the forefront of our designs. Atkins are the perfect partner to develop this infrastructure from the ground upwards and we are delighted to be working with them.”

This partnership builds on decades of landmark aviation projects from Atkins, ranging from design and certification of major aircraft programs; global airport infrastructure design; and the full-scale implementation of technologies such as biometric facial recognition at airport gates.

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