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New initiative aims to make Paris a leader in urban air mobility

Choose Paris Region, Groupe ADP, and RATP Groupe have launched a global call for expressions of interest to develop urban air mobility (UAM) in the region of Paris, France.

VoloCity Paris urban air mobility
Volocopter is the first eVTOL developer to partner with Choose Paris Region, Groupe ADP, and RATP Groupe on their new urban air mobility initiative. Volocopter Image

Applications will be open Oct. 1 through Nov. 13, 2020, on the website The initiative encompasses all aspects of UAM, including vehicle development and maintenance, urban infrastructure, airspace integration, digital platforms, community acceptance, and intermodal solutions. Selected projects will be announced on Dec. 18.

Groupe ADP develops and manages airports including Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly, and Paris-Le Bourget. RATP Group is an operator of multiple forms of public transport, including buses and trains, while Choose Paris Region is an agency dedicated to supporting international companies with their development in the region.

Together, the partners plan to establish a dedicated test area at Pontoise airfield, around 35 kilometers (22 miles) northwest of Paris. Necessary arrangements will be made at the airfield in the first half of 2021, with the goal of starting testing in cooperation with France’s Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGAC) in June of next year. The site will enable a variety of operations — including parking, take-off and landing, maintenance, and recharging — to be tested in a real aeronautical environment.

VoloCity at Paris urban air mobility launch
From left, Franck Margain of Choose Paris Region; Edward Akrwright of Groupe ADP; Florian Reuter of Volocopter; Valérie Pécresse of Paris Region; and Catherine Guillouard of RATP at the launch event for the new urban air mobility initiative, with Volocopter’s VoloCity in the background. Volocopter Photo

According to Valérie Pécresse, president of Paris Region, “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 2020 conference. It also falls within the scope and priorities of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games. As a result, this event represents an invaluable opportunity to involve the entire aviation industry and demonstrate the unique qualities of Paris Region as an area of reference within the global urban air mobility market.”

The German eVTOL developer Volocopter has been announced as the first vehicle developer to take part in the initiative, with the company planning to test its production air taxi model, VoloCity, at the Pontoise airfield.

“We are incredibly excited to be the eVTOL manufacturer of choice in the Paris region’s urban air mobility project,” stated Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter. “We will open our first commercial air taxi routes in the next two to three years and are excited to have a potential launching partner here in Europe.”

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