ROME, October 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Aeroporti di Roma (ADR), Atlantia, UrbanV and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) pioneer Volocopter have successfully completed the first manned eVTOL test flights in Italian airspace. These tests were part of a mobility ecosystem set up at Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Fiumicino. This is an important milestone for the planned introduction of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) services in Rome by 2024, with partners starting operations of the first fully operational vertiport in Italy.
Aeroporti di RomaVolocopter, UrbanV and Atlantia conducted the first crewed public eVTOL test flight Italy This morning they presented the country’s first Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) test hub and hosted an interactive booking process on Volocopter’s digital VoloIQ platform. The test takes place one year after the presentation of the first eVTOL prototype Italy. Significant advances have been made in the last twelve months in the flight technology, vertiport design and regulations needed to enable the first AAM services between Fiumicino Airport and the city Rome should take off by 2024.
The Volocopter test pilot on board the electric Volocopter 2X flew 40 km/h for 5 minutes at 40 meters altitude along a trajectory in the shape of an “8” in front of spectators, after obtaining all necessary approvals from the Italian authorities, the Civil Aviation Authority (Duck Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile – ENAC) and the provider of air navigation services (Duck Nazionale Assistenza al Volo – ENAV), whose role in shaping the future AAM ecosystem remains central. Volocopter’s electric air taxi is designed for fast and emission-free passenger flights in urban environments over congested roads and waterways, reflecting Atlantia’s and Aeroporti di Roma want to play a pioneering role in making the future of aviation more innovative and sustainable.
The Vertiport was developed in accordance with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) “Prototype Technical Specifications for the Design of VFR Vertiports for Operation with Manned VTOL-Capable Aircraft Certified in the Enhanced Category” and is within ENAC approved regulatory specifications sand box . It was designed to accommodate different types of tests for both in-flight and ground operations (turnaround, battery charging, etc.) with an electrical system designed to allow testing of different eVTOL charging technologies (battery swap, fast charge etc.) enabled. The infrastructure, which occupies an area of approximately 5,500 square meters, has been sized to be compatible with the main eVTOLs that will be certified in the coming years and consists of: A Final Approach and Takeoff Area (FATO) for landing and takeoff operations ; a parking lot; a covered hangar measuring 20 x 20 x 6 meters; different rooms including an office, a warehouse and an area for charging batteries.
This morning’s flight was followed by a vertiport demonstration hosted by UrbanV, a company founded by ADR – together with Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur, Aeroporto di Venezia (SAVE) and Aeroporto Guglielmo Marconi di Bologna. The aim is to plan and build Vertiports internationally. In this context, another dimension of future AAM services was examined, the VoloIQ. This digital platform is the backbone of the urban air mobility ecosystem and supports digital access to all work processes. From flight operations to booking and beyond, VoloIQ will support and optimize the scaling of UAM/AAM operations in cities around the world to complement physical infrastructure (vertiports) and the entire ecosystem in the digital dimension.
“One of the pillars of Atlantia’s new industrial strategy is investing in technology and innovation to make our assets increasingly sustainable and open up new forms of integrated mobility,” he said Giampiero MassoloChairman of the board of Atlantis. “We are pleased to have helped bring together a number of companies in which we are shareholders. By collaborating and contributing to a range of different expertise 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 the relevant institutions, we aim to make the service available to the public in Fiumicino before expanding it to the other airports in which we have invested by 2024.”
“Today’s event marks a significant milestone in our journey as pioneers in testing and implementing Advanced Air Mobility Italyand by doing our part to make urban transport increasingly sustainable and seamless,” he commented Marco TronconeManaging Director of Aeroporti di Roma. “The opening of the first vertiport in Italy and the first manned eVTOL flight represent a notable step towards enabling the first AAM routes between Fiumicino Airport and Rome city center by the end of 2024, ahead of the anniversary, to do our part for our city and our institutions by welcoming international tourist flows with a groundbreaking, innovative service.”
“We have gone from a signed partnership agreement and the start of a series of events to a flight test at an operating airport in a little less than a year. With this, we are bringing together all the key stakeholders and regulators to witness this mobility service and technology with our own eyes,” said Christian BauerChief Commercial Officer and interim Chief Financial Officer of Volocopter.
“This test vertiport is of particular importance to UrbanV as it marks our first step in building a network of vertiports in the Rome region,” commented Carlo TursiManaging Director of UrbanV. “We are making progress in positioning in close cooperation with all our partners in this new mobility ecosystem Rome as one of the first European cities to offer seamless connections with electric aircraft, leveraging our expertise developed in the design and construction of ground infrastructure for advanced air mobility.”
Volocopter is building the world’s first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility company to provide affordable air taxi services for goods and people to megacities worldwide. Volocopter leads and collaborates with infrastructure, operations and air traffic management partners to build the ecosystem required to “Bring Urban Air Mobility to Life”. Volocopter employs 500 people in offices in Bruchsal, Munichand Singapore. The company has raised overall $579 million in equity from investors such as Daimler, Geely, DB Schenker, BlackRock and Intel Capital. www.volocopter.com
SOURCE Volocopter GmbH