The first step was taken in Rome to transform a fundamental asset of the mobility of the future in Italy into reality: electric flying taxis, which will transport passengers from one end of the city to the other bypassing road traffic and without any polluting emissions.
The electric Volocopter 2X of Volocopter, a German start-up specialized in the development of eVTOL – electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft – hovered in the skies above the Da Vicini airport, in Fiumicino, flying at 40 km / h for 5 minutes to 40 meters high along a “figure 8” flight path in front of the spectators after having obtained all the necessary authorizations from the Italian authorities, ENAC and the air traffic control service provider (ENAV). A fundamental step to officially launch services in Rome by 2024, connecting Fiumicino to the center of the capital, and also to enter a sector, that of urban air mobility, which according to recent studies conducted by EASA and the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility in Europe, including research and development, vehicle manufacturing, operations and infrastructure construction, will be worth around 4.2 billion euros by 2030, with the capacity to create and sustain around 90,000 jobs. And based on its characteristics, Rome was found to be the most suitable city in Italy to implement this type of services.
First test of the flying taxi between Fiumicino and Rome. With the Velocopter from 2024, in 20 minutes in the city
Aeroporti di Roma, Atlantia and UrbanV, the company formed by Aeroporti di Roma, Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur, Venice Airport and Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport collaborated on the advanced air mobility project. The test was also an opportunity to show the public the first fully functioning vertiport in Italy, a space of 5,500 square meters equipped with a landing and take-off area, a covered hangar for shed, warehouse, offices and also an area for recharging the batteries of electric aircraft. The project, which started a year ago with the presentation of the first flying taxi prototype, will guarantee a series of advanced air mobility routes between Da Vinci airport and Rome by 2024, and then expand with the construction of other vertiports in strategic hubs. and proceed with the creation of a capillary circuit available throughout Italy.
The vertiport was developed in accordance with the “Prototype Technical Specifications for the Design of VFR Vertiports for Operation with Manned VTOL-capable Aircraft Certified in the Enhanced Category” of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and is located at inside the regulatory sandbox approved by ENAC. It is designed to accommodate various types of tests for both flight and ground operations (turnaround, battery charging, etc.), with an electrical system designed to allow tests of various eVTOL charging technologies (battery exchange and fast charging for both name a few). On the occasion of the test flight, VoloIQ was also presented, the digital platform that will become the backbone of the new way of conceiving urban air mobility: it is from here that flights can be monitored, managed and booked, guaranteeing the functioning of the entire ecosystem in the digital dimension.
“One of the pillars of Atlantia’s new industrial strategy is the investment in technology and innovation to make our assets increasingly sustainable and open up new forms of integrated mobility. We are delighted to have helped bring together several companies of which we are shareholders – he said
Giampiero Massolo, president of Atlantia – By working together and contributing to a diverse range of skills and areas of excellence, we are creating a new kind of sustainable mobility that didn’t exist until a few months ago. By collaborating with related institutions, we aim to open the service at Fiumicino to the public, before extending it to the other airports in which we have invested by 2024 “.
The CEO of Aeroporti di Roma was also satisfied: “Today’s event represents a significant milestone in our path as pioneers in testing and implementing advanced air mobility in Italy and in doing our part in making urban transport more and more sustainable and seamless. The opening of the first vertiport in Italy and the first manned eVTOL flight represent a significant step towards the activation of the first AAM routes between Fiumicino airport and the center of Rome by the end of 2024, in view of the Jubilee, to offer our contribution to our city and our institutions in welcoming international tourist flows with an innovative and innovative service “.
“This test is particularly significant for UrbanV, representing our first step towards the creation of a network of verticals in the territory of the province of Rome – said Carlo Bruni, CEO of UrbanV – In close synergy with all our partners in this new ecosystem. of mobility, we are making progress towards positioning Rome as one of the first European cities to offer seamless connections with electric aircraft, leveraging the experience we have developed in the design and construction of ground infrastructure for advanced air mobility. “