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Vertiports, landing sites for eVTOL aircraft, are one of the enablers required for regular air mobility. Europe’s first test vertiport is currently being developed in France, as a significant step towards launching commercial Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) services in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The vertiport will be designed, built, and operated by Skyports at 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.
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 project is supported by DGAC, the French Civil Aviation Authority and EASA, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
The integration of a vertiport within an existing airport site is challenging and complex. Europe’s first trial platform will function as a concrete experiment to explore the field of possibilities of decarbonized and innovative aviation, and to develop the low altitude aviation market (below 300 meters).
All the components of Urban Air Mobility will be explored. 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.
The operational testbed will be used by leading eVTOL vehicle manufacturers to conduct test flights and demonstrations over the next three years in the run-up to the 2024 Olympics.
The site 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, according to Skyports.
Watch the autonomous systems at the urban sphere discussion panel at INNOTECH 2021: