Airports in Italy and France to jointly build eVTOL air taxi veliports – .

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Airports in Italy and France to jointly build eVTOL air taxi veliports – .


A group of airports in Italy and France are teaming up to create a vertical take-off and landing electric veliport (eVTOL) infrastructure to accelerate the deployment of faster, carbon-free air taxi transport between their centers. respective cities and passenger terminals.

The operators of the airports of Rome, Venice, Bologna and Nice have announced the creation of the joint company Urban Blue. He will oversee the construction and management of veliports for eVTOL air taxi services to shuttle between air transport hubs and the cities they serve. The program will be developed with the German urban air mobility company (UAM) Volocopter, and will remain open to new industrial, technological and financial partners wishing to participate in the expansion of the program in Italy, France and countries beyond.

The plan is to launch eVTOL shuttle services between veliports around Rome, Venice and Nice city centers and their airports by 2024 – in the same year, Paris plans to launch a Volocopter air taxi service to coincide with the home of the Summer Olympics. As a follow-up to the Urban Blue unveiling, Volocopter is expected to begin exhibiting one of its battery-powered aircraft today at Rome Fiumicino Airport.

EDF Invest, a reference shareholder of the Côte d’Azur Airports in Nice, will provide financial support to Urban Blue, and will bring its true image as a recognized international player in the development of innovative and sustainable UAMs.

Each city involved is already a major international destination for tourism and business travel with a healthy remaining margin for development. Yet all of them are already suffering from heavy traffic problems that hamper the continued expansion of visitors. Using eVTOL air taxis to reduce the stress of road transport to and from airports would be one way to begin to address this situation – and speed up travel times. The current 45-minute journey between central Rome and Fiumicino by car, for example, would be reduced to just 15 minutes by plane.

“Urban air mobility represents a stimulating challenge, capable of mobilizing new resources and skills, and of projecting us into a future of innovative and sustainable mobility,” said Nazareno Ventola, CEO of Bologna Airport in a characteristic statement by those issued by each Urban Blue partner. “Aeroporto di Bologna SpA wants to be the protagonist of this future, and the partnership that we are going to develop is an opportunity to be seized and fully exploited, in the interest of our shareholders and our stakeholders. “

To get started, Urban Blue will carry out technical and economic feasibility studies and draw up master plans. He will then work with all the stakeholders in the ecosystem he seeks to develop as he prepares to navigate the authorization process for the construction of veliports and other infrastructure. A final phase will then consist of building, testing and perfecting the facility management procedures before the launch of eVTOL air taxi operations.

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