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Volocopter on Type Certification, 2024 Olympics, Japan Market, and Future Plans

Volocopter on Type Certification, 2024 Olympics, Japan Market, and Future Plans

Volocopter outlined its plans for Type Certification, the 2024 Olympic Games, tapping into the Japanese market, and the other countries on its radar in a wide-ranging conversation with Asian Sky Group. 

Type Certification by Mid-2024

The German eVTOL manufacturer is “on track” to obtain Type Certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its VoloCity air taxi in mid-2024. 

The aircraft received Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from EASA in December 2019 and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) accepted the company’s application for a concurrent Type Certification with EASA for the aircraft in February 2023. Volocopter aims to complete this process and be certificated in Japan by 2025. 

“We are on track to receive the EASA Type Certification of the VoloCity in mid-2024,” a Volocopter spokesperson told Asian Sky Group. 

Keeping an Eye on the 2024 Olympic Games

Given Volocopter’s timeframe of obtaining Type Certification, it has its sights on the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

That being said, the company stressed it is not affiliated with the global sporting event in any way whatsoever, but plans to have its air taxi services up and running by the time it gets underway. 

“Volocopter is not directly associated with the IOC or the Olympic/Paralympic Games of Paris 2024. Our ambition and target has always been to start commercial services in time for the event, but not be limited to Paris or the Games. Our mid-2024 timeline certainly gives us confidence that our aircraft will be certificated by then,” the spokesperson said. 

“Great Opportunities” in Japan

Having already had its application for concurrent Type Certification of the VoloCity accepted by JCAB, Volocopter sees immense business prospects in Japan. 

The company aims to tap into the market through the 2025 Osaka Expo but said it is waiting for the relevant authorities in the country to decide on a myriad of details, including air taxi routes and regulations. 

Given that the country is intent on investing in eVTOLs for the foreseeable future, Volocopter is keen to be at the forefront of the industry when the necessary framework, infrastructure, and ecosystems are in place. 

“Volocopter wants to use the 2025 Osaka Expo as a springboard for the Japanese market. Japan has a clear roadmap in place to invest in eVTOLs between 2025 and 2030. As of now, Japan is looking into regulations, routes, etc, but nothing is set in stone just yet. We will continue to work with partners, authorities, and municipalities to discuss what great opportunities lie ahead in the Japanese market,” the spokesperson explained.

Numerous Markets in Sight

Japan is not the only market where Volocopter aims to make a splash, as it also plans to launch air taxi services in Paris, Rome, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. 

The German OEM is optimistic it can complement the existing transportation networks in those targeted cities and countries, while also providing a more environmentally-friendly mode of travel that assists in eliminating congestion. 

Before realizing its dream of building a worldwide air taxi ecosystem, Volocopter acknowledged that the required infrastructure needs to be developed. 

“Volocopter will start commercial services in large cities that require additional forms of public transportation that can ease congestion, reduce carbon and noise footprint, and add efficiency to the way people move,” the spokesperson said.

“We are working with many other cities around the world, but to start services, we need a full ecosystem approach/support from local entities such as partners and cities to develop infrastructure, routes, etc. For the moment, we see our launch cities to be: Paris, Rome, Singapore, and the NEOM region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2024.”

Busy Times for Volocopter

Volocopter’s VoloCity eVTOL is a two-seater air taxi with 18 rotors that has already taken part in more than 1,500 test flights. 

Recently, Volocopter announced the opening of its production facilities in Bruchsal, Germany, which will house its final assembly line. The site also possesses an airfield that will be used to conduct development test flights and quality checks. 

With its facilities up and running, the air taxi manufacturer plans to boost production and build more than 50 VoloCity eVTOLs every year. 

Volocopter was highly active in 2022 as it successfully completed the first manned test flight of its VoloCity in October. A month later, it raised USD$182 million in its Series E funding round. 

It also struck a deal with air transport technology company SITA to develop IT systems for vertiports in March 2023. 

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