- Groupe ADP & Volocopter, alongside the French Civil Aviation Authority and Paris Region (DGAC), have confirmed that the launch of the first eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft services over Paris Region skies for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games is on track
- Insights of 1.5 years of testing (safety, airspace integration, acceptability, passenger experience) at the Pontoise testbed are coming to fruition by bringing UAM to life in Paris
Paris, 20 June 2023 – Today at the International Paris Air Show, Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM) and Groupe ADP, alongside the French Civil Aviation Authority and Paris region, stressed that Paris will be the first European city – and likely the first city in the world – to offer electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) services in time for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The services will be available to the general public as an addition to the existing public transportation system of Paris Region.
Urban air mobility is a new form of sustainable aviation that will provide regions and cities with an additional form of transportation. Groupe ADP and Volocopter have collaborated to bring UAM to Paris, conducting flight tests with new electric air taxis, or eVTOLs at the Pontoise testbed, and bringing all regulators and stakeholders together since 2020.
Volocopter has more than 10 years of electric aircraft development experience and is currently the only eVTOL company on track to achieve certification in 2024 from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Electric air taxis are certified to the same strict safety standards as airliners and create safety through redundant aircraft features that have been tested in over 1,500 test flights.
2024: first routes and operations defined
The partners will start with three connection routes and two tourist round trip flights, with several aircraft.
- Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport <> Paris-Le Bourget airport
- Vertiport of Austerlitz barge <> Paris Heliport
- Paris Heliport <> Airfield of Saint-Cyr-l’École (Versailles)
Tourist round trips will be offered from:
- Paris Heliport
- Paris Le Bourget
Operations in Paris will begin from five vertiports and will gradually grow to cover the whole Paris region over the next decade. VoloCity aircraft, which have capacity for one pilot and one passenger, will be flying at heights below 500 m and will not be audible from ground level in urban environments.
Vertiport construction will start over the course of the summer, and by September at the latest, and be in full swing at the end of 2024. The five vertiports in Paris have a development schedule that allows for commercial launch in summer 2024. A special vertiport will be located on the Austerlitz barge on the Seine river, with strong support from the Paris Region. This month, an environmental impact study was submitted to the Environmental Authority, and will be followed by a public acceptance survey in the second half of 2023. These will form the basis for starting construction of the vertiport early next year.
Each vertiport will feature passenger terminals, with 1 to 3 takeoff and landing spots, and integrate the learnings from the Pontoise testbed. More than 1,000 visitors have come to see dozens of flights and other tests that have been executed in Pontoise over the past 18 months.
These first routes will bring the greatest insights into the UAM market yet, allowing the public, partners, and stakeholders to familiarize themselves with this new form of mobility.
- The city of Paris, its regulators, and stakeholders can prove the potential for this emission-free-in-flight and quiet addition to urban mobility
- Volocopter will receive feedback from real customers to continuously improve this first-of-a-kind service and improve electric air taxi services for everyone
The learnings from the first commercial operations will shape how UAM will continue to evolve over decades to come.
Beyond bringing passengers to their destinations in cities or offering tourist flights, Volocopter is also collaborating with air rescue operator ADAC Luftrettung to help save lives by deploying eVTOLs in emergency medical services.
The ADAC Luftrettung feasibility study and the opportunities for rapid emergency care using eVTOLs have also been met with great interest by the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, who have joined forces with Groupe ADP to explore the deployment of ADAC Luftrettung’s concept for multicopter operations in EMS in the Paris region as well.
Sustainable urban air transportation
EVTOLs stand out for their zero-emission operations, as they are fully battery-powered. A week-long test campaign has also shown that Volocopter aircraft are so quiet that they will not be heard against the Paris city soundscape. Volocopter’s aircraft are four times quieter than helicopters while in flight.
The general public will be able to book flights for the summer of 2024. Subscribers to the Volocopter channels will be the first to learn about booking opportunities, which will be revealed in the second half of 2023. Learn more here: https://www.volocopter.com/pas2023/
Edward Arkwright, Groupe ADP Deputy CEO, said: “The 2023 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, the cradle of aviation pioneers, will be the turning point in the takeoff of new electric air mobility: the transition from dream to reality. All the indicators are green for a successful summer 2024. The challenges ahead are huge, but they are a great source of pride for all those involved in the project, with whom we share the conviction that carbon-free air travel also brings new services.”
Dirk Hoke, CEO of Volocopter, said: “We are counting down the days to making electric air taxis a reality. Together with our French partners, we will take command in decarbonizing aviation, slowly but surely. Paris Air Show 2023 is the ultimate opportunity to show thousands of people the benefits of electric air taxis daily.”