UK-based engineering, architectural design, project management and consulting services company Atkins and professional services and project management company SNC-Lavalin Group is collaborating with electric aircraft company Vertical Aerospace to help develop intercity air taxi services.

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

The company is at the forefront of intelligent mobility, helping industry reimagine infrastructure across transport modes, enabled by data, technology and innovative ideas.

Jointly located in Bristol, the collaboration between Vertical Aerospace and Atkins will combine extensive industry expertise with the aim of revolutionising how people fly globally.

Both companies plan to jointly 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, cybersecurity and intelligent mobility. The partnership builds upon the vehicle safety and certification support Atkins is providing to Vertical Aerospace.

Atkins president Philip Hoare 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.

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“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.”

“Associated infrastructure and ways of operating will need to adapt to meet unprecedented demand.”

The Atkins-Vertical Aerospace partnership is a result of landmark aviation projects from Atkins, ranging from design and certification of major aircraft programmes; global airport infrastructure design; and the implementation of technologies such as biometric facial recognition at airport gates.

Vertical Aerospace founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick 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.”