France is hoping to have flying taxis available for visitors to the 2024 Paris Olympics and is moving forward with trials.
Once the realm of science fiction, flying taxis are moving closer to reality, with multiple companies working to bring them to market. France wants to fast track adoption and is studying different scenarios to integrate flying taxis with Parisian life.
“At the 2019 Paris Air Show, Groupe ADP, RATP Group and Airbus haves announced the launch, with the support of the Ministry of Transport, of a study for the implementation of an Urban Air Mobility service for the 2024 Olympic Games,” said Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, the French Minister Delegate for Transport. “I’m delighted to see one of the concrete results of this partnership being implemented here in Pontoise, and the whole ecosystem that is coming together. The French State is fully committed to the financing, with nearly 25 million euros already provided by the Council for Civil Aeronautics Research (CORAC) for the development of flying taxis, but also for the support of projects with the DGAC and the Agency for Innovation in Transport. Everything is falling into place: partnerships, innovation, test areas, regulations, financing. All the ingredients for success are there, all that remains is to make it happen.”
The trials will include “Volocopter, Airbus, Vertical Aerospace and Ascendance, the German aviation company Lilium and the American eVTOL manufacturer Joby Aviation.”
The goal is to establish a flying taxi hub 35 km northwest of Paris and to average 60 flights a day, or 60,000 flights a year. Given the amount of visitors anticipated for the 2024 Olympics, authorities are betting big on the tech.
Alexandra Dublanche, Vice-President of the Ile-de-France Region in charge of Recovery, Attractiveness, Economic Development and Innovation, and President of the Choose Paris Region agency, added: “Tomorrow’s air mobility is being built at the Pontoise airfield thanks to the support of Paris Region and its entire ecosystem. In addition to our support for electric aircrafts and for the development of hydrogen-based solutions for aviation, this initiative will help strengthen our status as Europe’s leading region in the field of Aeronautics and Space. With the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games, mastering these new technologies and uses in a densely populated area like Paris Region is not an option, it is a must.”