Skyports is to build Europe’s first vertiport at Pontoise in Paris for air taxi developers to test their aircraft in the region before the Paris Olympics is held in 2024.
The operational testbed will be used by leading eVTOL aircraft 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 program, serving as the first commercial vertiport in France.
The site at Groupe ADP’s Cergy-Pontoise Airfield to the north west of Paris will be Europe’s first test vertiport and a significant step towards launching commercial Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) services in France before the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The program is part of the Re.Invent Air Mobility initiative led by French airport operator Groupe ADP, global mobility company RATP Group and Choose Paris Region, a French agency for business and innovation. The development 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 to provide a safe and realistic environment for Skyports and members of the initiative to integrate and test the technologies required to enable AAM in Europe.
Augustin de Romanet, Aéroports de Paris SA – Groupe ADP’s chairman and CEO said, “Our Pontoise airfield brings together an ecosystem around new air mobility and the trial platform we are launching 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 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 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 at Skyport said, “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.”