Ferrovial Airports went public this week with plans to develop a network of 20 vertiports across Spain. The Spanish infrastructure and airport management group said that the ambitious project depends on it getting a grant for an unspecified amount from the European Union’s European Recovery Funds. It has filed an application for a grant with Spain’s Ministry of Industry and Ministry for Ecological Transition.
Design work for the vertiports is already underway in cooperation with Spanish transport and engineering consultancy IDOM. Ferrovial also is working with data specialist DatActionS to identify the best locations for the new facilities and estimate the demand for passenger flights using eVTOL aircraft.
Ferrovial said that it wants to work with eVTOL developers such as Lilium, Airbus, and Spain’s Tecnalia. At the end of January, it announced a partnership with Germany’s Lilium to develop a network of at least 10 vertiports across Florida in the U.S.
In November 2020, Spain’s air navigation agency, Enaire, announced plans to start air taxi flight trials in Barcelona and Santiago de Compostela during 2022. Enaire, which is under the jurisdiction of the Spanish government’s Ministry of Transport, Mobility, and Urban Agenda, indicated that it will pursue the project as part of two initiatives that already have support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 fund as part of the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) Joint Undertaking on U-Space and Urban Air Mobility.
The first of these projects, called CORUS-XUAM, is run by the European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol, which oversees SESAR. The second, called AMU-LED, is being run by data management company Everis. U-Space refers to a set of new “services and specific procedures” that SESAR intends to be used to support the integration of unmanned aircraft in controlled airspace.
Ferrovial made no mention of the Enaire project in its February 8 announcement. The group has conducted airport developments at 33 locations worldwide, including in the U.S., Australia, and Chile. In the UK, it is the main shareholder of London Heathrow Airport and has 50 percent stakes in Glasgow, Southampton, and Aberdeen.