Airports across Italy and France including the likes of Rome, Venice, Bologna, and Nice have announced the creation of Urban Blue. The joint venture is between airport operators and administrators in these regions and will oversee the construction and management of eVTOL vertiports.
Urban Blue envisions their vertiports will transport airline customers on the final leg of their journey from their passenger jet to the city center. The scheme will be developed in partnership with Volocopter and is seeking additional partners.
In a statement released by Urban Blue, the company says it hopes to have airport eVTOL routes operated by Volocopter beginning in Summer 2024 in conjunction with the Summer Olympics hosted in Paris. EDF Invest, a major shareholder in Nice’s Aeroports de la Cote d’Azur, will financially back Urban Blue, and provide its bone fides as an established international player in the development of innovative and sustainable UAM.
“Urban Air Mobility represents a stimulating challenge, capable of mobilizing new resources and skills, and project ourselves into a future of innovative and sustainable mobility,” said Nazareno Ventola, CEO of Bologna Airport in a statement characteristic of those each Urban Blue partner issued. “Aeroporto di Bologna SpA wants to be the protagonist of this future, and the partnership that we are going to develop is an opportunity to be fully seized and exploited, in the interest of our shareholders and our stakeholders.”
Heading into 2022, Urban Blue will conduct technical and economic studies and begin master plans for its vertiports. The company will also begin researching various operational and management tactics for its fleet of Volocopter eVTOL crafts to ensure a smooth and efficient operation.
We are excited to share the news of our new partnership with our holding company, Atlantia, and @volocopter, the pioneer of #UrbanAirMobility, aimed at bringing electric air taxis to Rome.
Together, we will lay the foundation to bring #ElectricAirTaxis to Italy. pic.twitter.com/bGIi6BiuK5
— Aeroporti di Roma (@AeroportidiRoma) October 22, 2021
Why it matters: Investment in aerial mobility infrastructure will continue to rise as manufacturers get closer and closer to commercial viability. With several options to choose from, Urban Blue has wisely partnered with fellow EU-based Volocopter to operate city–airport shuttles at key tourism destinations across France and Italy. This will offer the flying public an exciting new way travel about the cities and completely transform passenger flow.