France Inaugurates the Most Advanced Test Site for eVTOL Operations in Europe

VoloCity will soon be certified and continue testing at this innovative vertiport 7 photos
Photo: Volocopter
Volocity in front of the New Vertiport in FranceVolocityVolocityVolocityVolocityVolocity
Multiple partners joined forces to launch a state-of-the-art live airfield specifically designed for UAM (urban air mobility) technologies and operations in France. This will enable players in the industry to test all procedures in a real-life environment.
Innovation won’t occur in isolation,” said Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports, one of the three partners that have commissioned the first fully-integrated vertiport terminal in Europe. The other two are Volocopter, developer of the Volocity air taxi, and Groupe ADP.

This vertiport terminal is called the Re.Invent Air Mobility, located at the Pontoise-Cormeilles airfield. It was designed by Skyports, together with Groupe ADP, and it’s aircraft agnostic so that anyone in the industry can test and further develop their technologies here.

The project partners carried out a demonstration end-to-end passenger journey at the vertiport’s launch event. Skyports and Volocopter also showcased digital operating systems, flight monitoring capabilities, and the VoloIQ – a vertiport operating system developed by Skyports.

Some of the things that will be tested and developed at the new testbed include charging procedures, flight scheduling, security and check-in processes, and aircraft boarding.

This is just a glimpse into the complex procedures behind the launch of UAM operations. Developing an advanced eVTOL was just the first step, but there’s much more that goes into the operation of air taxis. Infrastructure, regulations, and establishing a supply chain are just some of the major links in this complex process.

Volocopter’s 2X model is the only aircraft that’s authorized right now to conduct eVTOL test flights in France. Volocity is set to become the company’s first certified air taxi for commercial services.

The new vertiport terminal at Pontoise-Cormeilles is due to kick off operations by 2024. Valérie Pécresse, president of the Paris Region, believes that France could become the leader of UAM operations in Europe, and he has a big dream - “Just as the first plane ticket of the first airline company was purchased in 1914 in Florida, I want the first passenger flight in a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to take place in our region, Paris Region.”
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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