As part of the Re.Invent Air Mobility initiative, Groupe ADP has partnered with RATP Group, Choose Paris Region and Skyports to develop Europe’s first test vertiport in France, as a significant step towards launching commercial Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) services in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
This is the first development of its kind in Europe and is being supported by DGAC, the French Civil Aviation Authority and EASA, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
The vertiport will be designed, built and operated by Skyports at Groupe ADP’s Cergy-Pontoise Airfield in Paris, initially serving as a technology testbed to provide a safe and realistic environment for Skyports and members of the initiative to integrate and test the critical technologies required to enable AAM in Europe.
Augustin de Romanet, Chairman and CEO, Aéroports de Paris SA – Groupe ADP, said: “Our Pontoise airfield brings together a unique ecosystem around new air mobility and the trial platform we are launching today is unprecedented in Europe. It will function as a concrete experiment to explore the field of possibilities of a decarbonised and innovative aviation, and to develop the low altitude aviation market (below 300 metres), which has been largely unexplored until now. In Pontoise, we will test all the components of Urban Air Mobility. Groupe ADP will fully play its role as an aggregator of activities to facilitate the surge of new uses that reconcile a smaller environmental footprint, innovation and common utility.”
The test vertiport will be equipped with a suite of technologies including biometric identity management, re-charging equipment, situational awareness capabilities and weather stations. The data collected during the testing phase will be essential for the development of AAM regulatory frameworks.
Ankit Dass, Chief Technology Officer, Skyports, added: “Technology will play a critical role in ensuring the safety and operational efficiency of vertiports. The integration of technology is at the core of our vertiport design, development and operation. At Skyports we are developing our systems in collaboration with vehicle manufacturers, operators and leading aviation tech companies.”
The operational testbed will be used by leading eVTOL vehicle manufacturers such as Volocopter, Vertical Aerospace, Airbus, Pipistrel, eHang and others to conduct test flights and demonstrations over the next three years in the run-up to the 2024 Olympics.
The Skyports vertiport will be constructed using modular technology so that it can easily be relocated to a new location at the end of the programme, serving as the first commercial vertiport in France.
During the inaugural Air MobilityX Summit, taking place at FTE Global 2021 on 7-9 December in Las Vegas, Skyports’ Founder and CEO Duncan Walker will be joining a panel of experts to discuss how the air transport sector should adapt facilities and adjust CX, digital strategies, partnerships and commercial approaches to maximise the opportunities presented through new urban air mobility. Find out more here.