Airbus, Aeroports de Paris (ADP) and the RATP Group, are working on an urban system of air taxis that they hope will be in place for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The feasibility study on vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) is being conducted along with the Paris Ile-de-France region and the French civil aviation authority (DGAC).
The Olympic venue, which is situated toward the north of Paris, takes close to an hour to reach by train or bus from Charles de Gaulle airport.
The games are thus being viewed as a chance to demonstrate French savoir-faire in urban mobility, says Airbus, ADP and RATP, who disclosed the same at this year’s Paris Air Show.
If all goes according to plan, the city could give visitors a flying start by offering airborne taxis to tournament sites straight from the airport.
“In 2010, for the first time, more than half of humanity was living in urban zones and we think we shall surpass 60 percent by 2030,” notes Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. “The time had now come to vault up to ‘the third dimension’ of local commutes – air.”
“If we have the conviction that in the next five, 10, 15, 20 or 30 years low altitude is a space to be conquered we have to put in place the conditions today,” said ADP Group’s executive director general Edward Arkwright.
According to the Agence France-Presse, ADP has been given time until the end of the year to choose a site for a ‘Vertiport’ capable of hosting taxis from one of 10 aerodromes in the region around Paris.
The idea is to have the venue ready in 18 months, requiring infrastructure investment of some $11.3 million, says Arkwright.
The project will further test out the link via an existing helicopter corridor. The goal is to have the taxis take off every six minutes.
In order to make VTOL a reality by 2024, ADP is working alongside Airbus, which has for some years been involved in full electric propulsion urban mobility schemes.
Airbus already has two prototype models – the single-seater ‘Vahana’ and the four-seater variant ‘CityAirbus’ – ready for the tournament.
Content and image: Agence France-Presse via PhysOrg/Airbus