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On track for air mobility

There is a real appetite for it, and it is global: more and more cities are looking to the skies to devise new forms of mobility. This choice has been made possible by the very rapid emergence of a new generation of fully electric, vertical take-off aircrafts. But to incorporate these air taxis into the urban landscape and uses, everything remains to be created: a regulatory framework, landing and take-off hubs, integration with other modes.

Flying taxis

The first taxi to fly over Paris is expected in 2024. To allow this maiden flight to take place, RATP Group, in partnership with the Île-de-France region and ADP group, is working to structure an air mobility sector. First steps: the installation of a trial area within Pontoise aerodrome, and the launch, with Choose Paris Region, of a call for expressions of interest, with 30 winners selected out of 150 candidates.

The first test of a vertical take-off vehicle will be made by German company Volocopter, as from June 2021.


“We are working on urban integration.”

Pierre Becquart,
RATP Group urban air mobility manager

How is RATP Group tackling air mobility?

P. B. The technologies are mature. Where progress is needed is in the integration of urban air transport into the existing mobility mix and the city in general. Our priority is to give careful thought to this question, to serve regional development.

What infrastructure will be needed?

P. B. One can imagine city-centre hubs, on rooftops. So long as the obstacle of the impact of noise and vibration can be overcome. Our cities were not designed for this type of flow. We are doing a lot of work with our partner ADP (Aéroports de Paris) and the Île-de-France region on acceptability  to local residents.

> 60 cities

will be equipped with air taxis services by 2035.

Source : Oliver Wyman.

European impetus

Created in 2018, the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) initiative of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities aims to bring together cities, citizens, businesses, researchers and other stakeholders to step up the development of urban air mobility in Europe, where it is viewed positively, even very positively, according to a study published in May 2021 by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

According to this study carried out among 3,690 citizens of 6 European countries including France, 83% favour this form of mobility, and Paris tops the list of cities most suited to this transport.

Sources: ASEA/ESEA study.

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