Volocopter to launch commercial air taxi routes in Paris region
Volocopter has joined forces with RATP Group, Paris Region and Groupe ADP to test its VoloCity air taxi in the Paris region, with a view on launching commercial routes in the near future.
Florian Reuter, CEO Volocopter, said: “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 two to three years.”
The alliance was announced at the Pontoise Airfield, 22 miles (35kms) northwest of Paris, where testing will be carried out starting in June 2021. Preparations for necessary arrangements, such as suitable parking areas, electrical recharging systems, and ground markings, will be made with the DGAC (Civil Aviation Authority) in the meantime.
Valérie Pécresse, President of Paris Region, a partnering business and innovation outfit, said: “The structuring and development of an Air Mobility branch on the airfield of Pontoise – Cormeilles-en-Vexin is both consistent with the Recovery Plan initiated by Paris Region and in line with the key takeaways of Paris Region recent COP (Conference of the Parties) 2020 conference. It also falls within the scope and priorities of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games.
In July this year, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a €100bn post-Covid-19 package, of which one-third will be spent on “ecological transition” and “greening the economy”.
Additionally, in order to construct an ecosystem of large groups: small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups, laboratories, and universities in the Paris Region over the long term, Choose Pairs has put out a worldwide call for expressions of interest. These will include the areas of vehicle development, urban infrastructure, operations and so on.
Applications will be open on October 1st until 13 November 13th 2020 on this website. The selected projects will be announced on December 18th this year.
Catherine Guillouard, chairwoman and CEO of RATP Group, “After a first major partnership with Airbus, it is only natural that RATP Group pursue its ambitions in the air taxi sector towards a new phase, accelerating the rollout of the urban air mobility industry branch.”
Elsewhere, Volcopter is also aiming to bring sustainable commercial operations – with the help of Japan Airlines – to some big Japanese cities in the next three years.