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UK’s first permanent vertiport opens in Wales

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The UK’s first permanent vertiport has opened at Snowdonia Aerospace Centre for drone and eVTOL testing.

Bristol-based technology company SLiNK-TECH designed the vertiport in North Wales and completed installation of its automated Portal vertiport system at the end of June.

The Portal solution is a drone-agnostic vertiport system which scans the air and the ground to guide drones through launch and landing without the need for a pilot.

“The instalment of Portal at Snowdonia Aerospace Centre is the UK’s first permanent vertiport,” SLiNK-TECH CEO John Goudie told Zag Daily. “Not only does this represent an important milestone for the development of the UK’s drone industry, but the technology behind it is also vital to the expansion of future flight technologies.

“Take-off and landing are the most high-risk junctures of any flight, and usually require a drone pilot to ensure safety. Portal can manage vertiports without the need for a pilot, dynamically responding to its environment to safely guide drones through launch and landing.”

The Portal system can be deployed anywhere in under two hours, or it can be installed permanently as in Snowdonia Aerospace Centre. 

It will work alongside electric charging systems from Aerovolt which this year claimed to have developed the world’s first public charging network for electric planes.

Snowdonia Aerospace Centre will act as a testing facility for drones and eVTOL aircrafts, initially beginning with trials.

Lee Paul, CEO of Snowdonia Aerospace Centre, said: “Snowdonia Aerospace is excited to be supporting SLiNK-TECH with the testing of the PORTAL vertiport concept and we look forward to working together to create a legacy capability at the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre for the drone and air mobility communities to test and train in an archetype of future UK lower airspace management.”

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