Paris region, Groupe ADP and RATP Groupe are creating an urban air mobility industry branch at Pontoise airfield near Paris, focused on electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) systems. German electric air taxi and urban mobility pioneer Volocopter will be the first to test its full-scale electric air taxi, the Volocity, at the new site. Further expressions of interest are invited.
According to a press release, the partners decided to bring together all the conditions to make the emergence of this new mode of transport possible, with the prospect of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games providing an opportunity for industry involvement industry. Volocopter reinforces the project’s feasibility with many years of aviation experience.
International call for expressions of interest
Additionally, in order to construct an ecosystem of large groups, SMEs, start-ups, laboratories, and universities in the Paris Region over the long term, a worldwide call for expressions of interest has been launched with the support of the Choose Paris Region agency. Applications will be open on 1 October until 13 November 2020 on the website: www.reinventairmobility.com. The selected projects will be announced on 18 December 2020.
It covers all the components of Urban Air Mobility:
- Vehicle development for manufacturers and equipment suppliers (batteries, avionics, etc.)
- Urban infrastructure for energy companies or vertiport designers
- Operations for suppliers of intermodal solutions, maintenance, or digital platforms
- Airspace integration for suppliers of unmanned traffic management (UTM) or communication/navigation systems
- Acceptability for laboratories or research institutes dealing with social and environmental issues
Volocopter, with its track record of successful public flights in Singapore, Helsinki, and Dubai, is the first industrial player to position itself as a partner. Florian Reuter, CEO Volocopter, says: “We are incredibly excited to be the eVTOL manufacturer of choice in the Paris region’s Urban Air Mobility project. We will open our first commercial air taxi routes in the next 2-3 years and are excited to have a potential launching partner here in Europe.”
Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO of Groupe ADP said: “We aim at exploring and enabling the development of all potential futures of a decarbonized and innovative aviation. Urban Air Mobility, driven by an all-electric vehicle capable of a vertical takeoff and landing, will be able to take-off and accelerate its development through the establishment of a sandbox at our Pontoise airfield, a unique testing opportunity in Europe. In partnership with Paris Region and RATP group, and in the framework of an international call for expression of interest, we are strongly positioned to federate a unique ecosystem in Paris Region, by combining our infrastructures assets, our know-how and expertise in terms of mobility and our territorial anchoring.”
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