Los Angeles Gearing Up to Become the First City in the U.S. to Operate Air Taxis

The Volocopter air taxis could be flying in Los Angeles in two years from now 8 photos
Photo: Volocopter
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Volocopter has been making waves since the end of 2020, when the German-based startup claimed to be the only urban air mobility (UAM) company to offer a wide range of eVTOLs, from air taxis to cargo drones.
Things take time when it comes to eVTOLs (electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft), since it’s new territory in terms of regulations and infrastructure. But Volocopter has made a big step – it’s getting ready to bring the famous Volocity to the U.S.

The company has joined forces with Urban Movement Labs in Los Angeles. The L.A.-based organization claims to be the first of its kind to connect government, industry and community partners for improving local transportation. This new partnership doesn’t mean that people in L.A. will switch to air taxis tomorrow, because the eVTOL developer is still waiting for certification. But it’s a big step in establishing a policy framework and the related infrastructure.

It’s not the aircraft developer’s first contact with America. Earlier this year, the Volocopter 2X prototype conducted a crewed flight demonstration at the Oshkosh air show, for approximately four minutes, at 160 feet (49 meters) in the air. According to the startup, it was the first public crewed flight of an eVTOL in the U.S. A previous demonstration flight was conducted in Paris.

Volocopter also claims to be the only player in the UAM industry to hold two European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification approvals for designing and producing eVTOLs. As remarkable as that may be, it still needs to wait for the final EASA certification, as well as the one from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in order to operate in the U.S.

If everything goes according to plan, Los Angeles might become the first American city to support Voloports (eVTOL airports), air taxis and heavy-lift cargo drones. Volocopter is set to launch its services in the next two to three years.

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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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