Volocopter – a German startup specializing in electric multi-rotor helicopters designed for air taxi use – has partnered with Rome’s largest airport operator Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) and infrastructure holding company Atlantia to establish an airport-to-city air taxi service.
“We are proud to contribute to shaping the future in collaboration with Volocopter, one of the most advanced developers for this new type of aircraft and service,” said Marco Troncone, Aeroporti di Roma’s CEO. “This partnership testifies to ADR’s commitment toward sustainability and innovation.”
Volocopter’s VoloCity aircraft is a rotor-bladed, battery-powered air taxi with two seats, capable of taking off and landing vertically. Currently, travel between the airport and downtown Rome takes 45 minutes by car. Rome Airport Service taxi rates start from EUR 25 (~$29 US), but often experience traffic jams, increasing the cost. The train from the Fiumicino “Leonardo da Vinci” International Airport to the downtown terminal takes at least 30 minutes with a cost of EUR 17.50 (~$20.25 US). The VoloCity aircraft will take about 15 minutes at an Initial cost of around EUR 150(~$174 US). That price is expected to drop as the service becomes regular, and has the hidden advantage of having a zero level of emissions.
Volocopter expects to receive a commercial air license from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in three years time and then begin operations. The companies expect the new service will connect the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport with various places in Rome through vertiports.
“We have proven that our aircraft are flying fully scaled. Now, we are focusing on putting the UAM ecosystem in place in several cities like Rome to host our fully electric mobility solutions upon certification,” said Christian Bauer, chief commercial officer of Volocopter.