Advanced Air Mobility News

Europe’s First Vertiport Testbed Launched in Paris

Europe’s First Vertiport Testbed Launched in Paris

Groupe ADP and Skyports unveiled Europe’s first fully integrated vertiport terminal for future air taxis in Paris to enable the integration, testing, and development of the advanced air mobility (AAM) industry.

The passenger terminal, which will serve as a “testbed” for the AAM industry, marks the final stage of development and was unveiled on November 11 at Pontoise-Cormeilles airfield in the north-west Paris suburb, where Volocopter completed a live test flight as a part of the integrated process.

The facility comes with function areas for aircraft take-off and landing, a passenger terminal, and a maintenance hangar and control, and will pave the way for the configuration and experimentation planned for 2024.

The 115-square-meter passenger terminal is expected to launch services for security and check-in, aircraft boarding, vehicle integration, charging operation and flight scheduling among other services.

Volocopter, describing the launch as the “start of a new era,” stressed the role of the vertiport testbed in bringing stakeholders in the ecosystem together for the advancement of urban air mobility (UAM).

“The testbed at Pontoise-Cormeilles is a stellar example of ecosystem partners collaborating to accelerate the realization of UAM. We can test processes, integrate new and old systems, and simulate different operational scenarios to create trust and positive awareness of all stakeholders,” said Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer, Volocopter. “Every test is one step closer to commercialization in time for 2024.”

The terminal will allow stakeholders including eVTOL manufacturers, infrastructure providers, regulators, technology supply chains, and governments to test how technologies and procedures cope in a real-world scenario.

“With the completion of the terminal, we will now begin comprehensive testing of procedures and technologies in a realistic aviation environment, creating a space for Skyports and consortium partners to accelerate the industry,” said Duncan Walker, CEO, Skyports.

Government officials of the Paris Region also supported the initiative, which has put France at the forefront of UAM development, saying the move is “an adventure full of promises” in terms of potential social benefits from the industry in employment, environment, and the livelihood of residents.

“We are now looking ahead to 2024: the development of all use cases, including health and logistics,” said Augustin de Romanet, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Groupe ADP.