The Pontoise-Cormeilles airfield just outside of Paris, France now has Europe’s first fully integrated vertiport terminal for the urban air mobility (UAM) industry. Named the Re.Invent Air Mobility testbed, it will enable a variety of stakeholders to test vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft technologies and procedures in a real-life environment.
“In Pontoise-Cormeilles, we are taking a new decisive step in the development of electric air mobility,” said Augustin de Romanet, Groupe ADP Chairman and CEO. “The passenger terminal marks the final stage in the development of the Pontoise testbed, and the completion of a Volocopter flight fully integrated into the airfield’s airspace is the epitome of a year of very ambitious test campaigns. We are now looking ahead to 2024: the development of all use cases, including health and logistics.”
The terminal hosted a test launch of a Volocopter test aircraft – the VoloCity – which is being developed as Volocopter’s first certified air taxi. The aircraft carried a passenger in a brief circle around the airfield, while other aircraft were in the vicinity. Volocopter CEO Dirk Hoke states that in the next 18 months it will prepare its craft for certification and that they hope to launch short commercial flights by 2024, when Paris will host the summer Olympics.
Valérie Pécresse, President of the Paris Region, said: “The development of low-altitude aviation for urban air mobility is an adventure full of promises – for employment, for the environment and for the lives of Paris Region residents. As the leading aeronautical region in France and Europe, Paris Region has all the resources to be a pioneer in this field and that is why we decided last year to support this exciting initiative financially. The Olympics are an incredible opportunity to showcase and launch this project and promote the site’s experimental facilities. We will continue to support this project while remaining vigilant to ensure that the inhabitants of Paris Region benefit from it, in compliance with our decarbonization objectives, as detailed in the regional economic strategy Impact 2028.”