Innovation

Paris region, Groupe ADP and RATP Group announce the structuring of the Urban Air Mobility industry branch with the creation of a test area  at Pontoise airfield and the opening of a call for expressions of interest

Volocopter, the pioneer of Urban Air Mobility, will be the first industrial player to test their full scale electrical air taxi, the VoloCity, in the Paris Region.

In the current context of environmental transition in air transport and economic recovery, Paris region, Groupe ADP and RATP Group aim to develop an urban air mobility industry branch, with a focus on the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL).
The partners have therefore decided to bring together all the conditions to make the emergence of this new mode of transport possible to complement the existing modes, whether for the public or for goods. Furthermore, the prospect of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games provides an exceptional opportunity to involve an entire industry in order to make Paris Region a leader in the global market of urban air mobility. Volocopter, the electric air taxi company and pioneer of Urban Air Mobility, reinforces the project’s feasibility by bringing its 9 years of aviation experience to the initiative.

The structuring and development of an Air Mobility branch on the airfield of Pontoise – Cormeilles-en-Vexin is both consistent with the Recovery Plan initiated by Paris Region, and in line with the key takeways of Paris Region recent COP 2020 conference. It also falls within the scope and priorities of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games. As a result, this event represents an invaluable opportunity to involve the entire Aviation Industry, and demonstrate the unique qualities of Paris Region as an area of reference within the global Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market.” for Valérie Pécresse, President of Paris Region.

A life-size test area in Pontoise
Facing the challenges raised by this new form of mobility in terms of use, acceptability, regulations, technologies and industrialization, the chosen approach is to offer a unique test area at the Pontoise airfield, profiting from a real and secure aeronautical environment, in a peri-urban location, 35 km northwest of Paris.
In the first half of 2021, necessary arrangements will be made, first on the airside, then on the boarding areas inside the buildings (suitable parking areas, electrical recharging systems, ground markings).
With the support of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and Eurocontrol, European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, parking, takeoff and landing operations as well as operations around the vehicle, whether maintenance or electrical recharging, will be tested in a real aeronautical environment in June 2021.
 
Launch of an international call for expressions of interest
In addition, in order to construct an ecosystem of large groups, SMEs, start-ups, laboratories and universities in the Paris Region over the long term, a worldwide call for expressions of interest has been launched, with the support of the Choose Paris Region agency. Applications will be open on 1st October, until 13th November 2020, under the following link www.reinventairmobility.com, and the selected projects will be announced on 18th December 2020.
It covers all the components of urban air mobility:
- Vehicle development: for manufacturers and equipment suppliers (batteries, avionics, etc.);
- Urban infrastructure: for energy companies or vertiport designers;
- Operations: for suppliers of intermodal solutions, maintenance, or digital platforms;
- Airspace integration: for suppliers of unmanned traffic management (UTM) or communication/navigation systems;
- Acceptability: for laboratories or research institutes dealing with social and environmental issues.   

Volocopter, with its track record of successful public flights in Singapore, Helsinki, and Dubai, is the first industrial player to position itself as a partner.

“The structuring of an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) industry around the vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft is vital for the attractiveness of Paris Region. The growth of this industry will contribute to the development of environmentally friendly industrial solutions and offer Paris Region a unique mix of urban multimodal transportation systems. Choose Paris Region will lead the Call for Interest by capitalizing on its technological expertise and international network to identify French and international companies which will be involved in the launch of this cutting-edge sector", said Franck Margain, President of Choose Paris Region.

"Today, we aim at exploring and enabling the development of all potential futures of a decarbonized and innovative aviation. Urban Air Mobility, driven by an all-electric vehicle capable of a vertical takeoff and landing, will be able to take-off and accelerate its development through the establishment of a sandbox at our Pontoise airfield, a unique testing opportunity in Europe. In partnership with Paris Region and RATP group, and in the framework of an international call for expression of interest, we are strongly positioned to federate a unique ecosystem in Paris Region, by combining our infrastructures assets, our know-how and expertise in terms of mobility and our territorial anchoring.", noted Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO of Groupe ADP.

According to Catherine Guillouard, Chairwoman and CEO of RATP Group, “after a first major partnership with Airbus, it is only natural that RATP Group pursue its ambitions in the air taxi sector towards a new phase, accelerating the rollout of the urban air mobility industry branch. For RATP Group, this new mobility actively complements our traditional transport modes. By inaugurating this trial area and launching this call for expressions of interest at an international scale alongside Groupe ADP and with the support of the Île-de-France Region, we intend to be a privileged partner of the smart cities of tomorrow and make good use of our human and technical expertise”.

Florian Reuter, CEO Volocopter, says: "We are incredibly excited to be the eVTOL manufacturer of choice in the Paris region’s Urban Air Mobility project. We will open our first commercial air taxi routes in the next 2-3 years and are excited to have a potential launching partner here in Europe."
 

About Paris Region
Press contact: Eléonore Flacelière, +33 6 64 82 77 04 - eleonore.flaceliere@iledefrance.fr
Paris Region is a driving force for French employment and growth, both in terms of its economic weight and its influence. As the leading economic region in Europe and the third-largest urban economy in the world, behind Tokyo and New York, Paris Region is a hotbed for innovation due to its concentration of 40% of France's R&D activities. By and large, Paris Region benefits from a great international appeal.
Paris Region is active in most of the areas that affect the daily lives of its 12 million residents: transport, education, economic development, environment, etc. In an area that covers only 2% of France but is home to 18% of the country’s population and nearly 30% of the national GDP, Paris Region is implementing a development policy which places the environment at the heart of its priorities. It is investing 10 billion euros towards it. The launch of an innovative aeronautics industry in Paris region is therefore fully in line with its policy in terms of attractiveness and economic development.

 
About Choose Paris Region
Press contacts: Maude Megtert, +33 6 19 20 67 35 / maude.megtert@chooseparisregion.org
Boris Pankiewicz, + 33 3 74 02 02 51 - boris@oxygen-rp.com / Maïwenn Régnault + 33 7 69 95 01 14 - maiweenn.r@oxygen-rp.com 

Choose Paris Region is a catalyst for business and innovation which supports international companies willing to expand in the Paris Region. As a non-profit governmental agency, Choose Paris Region works with local public entities to provide free tailor-made services. Choose Paris Region brings its deep market and industry expertise together with an extensive network to support international companies in building tech partnerships, designing their go to market strategy, and providing guidance to implement their local presence. Every year, with a team of 80 dedicated professionals across Europe, the US and China, Choose Paris Region supports 1,000+ international companies looking to grow their business in the Paris Region, one of the leading tech and business hubs in the world.

 
 
About Groupe ADP
Press contact: Lola Bourget, Head of Medias and Reputation Department, +33 1 74 25 23 23
Investor Relations: Audrey Arnoux, Head of Investor Relations, +33 6 61 27 07 39 - invest@adp.fr

Groupe ADP develops and manages airports, including Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Paris-Le Bourget. In 2019, the group handled through its brand Paris Aéroport more than 108 million passengers and 2.2 million metric tons of freight and mail at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly, and more than 110 million passengers in airports abroad. Boasting an exceptional geographic location and a major catchment area, the Group is pursuing its strategy of adapting and modernizing its terminal facilities and upgrading quality of services; the group also intends to develop its retail and real estate businesses. In 2019, group revenue stood at €4,700 million and net income at €588 million.
Registered office: 1 rue de France - 93290 Tremblay en France, France. A public limited company (Société Anonyme) with share capital of €296,881,806. Registered in the Bobigny Trade and Company Register under no. 552 016 628. groupeadp.fr
 

About RATP Group
Press contact: Lea Commeau, +33 1 58 78 37 37 - servicedepresse@ratp.fr
With sixteen million journeys every day across the planet, RATP Group is one of the leading urban transport operators in the world. The Group operates in twelve countries on four continents through its RATP Dev subsidiary and each day runs eight modes of transport: metros, urban and inter-city bus services, tramways, rail, sightseeing, cable cars, maritime shuttle services and transport on demand. The Group is also present across the entire spectrum of new mobility services in partnership with four other modes (electric scooters, car-sharing, car-pooling and driverless shuttle services). As a widely-hailed expert in infrastructure management and engineering, the Group also fields a broad range of urban services through its subsidiaries in real estate management and engineering, operating retail facilities, fibre-optic technologies, customized passenger information and innovative ticketing solutions.
RATP has been running one of the densest multimodal networks in the world for over seventy years in Paris and around the French capital. Thanks to its 64,000 staff members RATP Group designs, implements and runs mobility solutions and innovative services each day for sustainable and more human towns and cities. @RATPGroup

 
 
About Volocopter
Press contact: Helena Treeck, +49 151 2372 1517 - helena.treeck@volocopter.com 
Volocopter is building the world’s first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility business to bring affordable air taxi services to megacities worldwide. With the VoloCity, the company is developing the first fully electric “eVTOL” aircraft in certification to safely and quietly transport passengers within cities. Volocopter leads and cooperates with partners in infrastructure, operations, and air traffic management to build the ecosystem necessary to ‘Bring Urban Air Mobility to Life’. In 2011, Volocopter performed the first-ever manned flight of a purely electric multicopter and has since showcased numerous public flights with its full-scale aircraft. The most notable have been the public test flights at Singapore’s Marina Bay in October 2019 and the world’s first autonomous eVTOL flight in Dubai 2017. Volocopter is also developing products for the logistics and precision agriculture space with their VoloDrone. Founded in 2011 by Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel, Volocopter has 150 employees in offices in Bruchsal, Munich, and Singapore. The company is managed by CEO Florian Reuter, CTO Dr. Arnaud Coville, CFO Rene Griemens, and CCO Christian Bauer, and has raised a total of 122 million euro in equity. Volocopter‘s investors include Daimler, Geely, DB Schenker, Intel Capital, Team Europe, btov, Micron, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, TransLink Capital (Japan Airlines and Sompo Japan Insurance), MS&AD Ventures, and Manta Ray Ventures. More information on: www.volocopter.com
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