Skyports, a designer, developer, and operator of vertiports (landing sites for eVTOL aircraft) is developing Europe’s first test vertiport in France, which represents a significant step towards launching commercial Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) services in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The program is part of the Re.Invent Air Mobility initiative led by French airport operator Groupe ADP, global mobility company RATP Group and Choose Paris Region, a French agency for business and innovation. The development is new to Europe and is being supported by DGAC, the French Civil Aviation Authority and EASA, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
The vertiport will be designed, built, and operated by Skyports at Groupe ADP’s Cergy-Pontoise Airfield in Paris, initially serving as a technology testbed to provide a safe and realistic environment for Skyports and members of the initiative to integrate and test the critical technologies required to enable AAM in Europe.
The integration of a vertiport within an existing airport site is challenging and complex. Skyports’ expertise in ground infrastructure and Groupe ADP’s remit in infrastructure planning, provision and permitting are an ideal partnership to implement the solution that will successfully address this challenge.
The test vertiport will be equipped with a suite of technologies including biometric identity management, re-charging equipment, situational awareness capabilities and weather stations. The data collected during the testing phase will be essential for the development of AAM regulatory frameworks.
Ankit Dass, Chief Technology Officer at Skyports said: “Technology will play a critical role in ensuring the safety and operational efficiency of vertiports. The integration of technology is at the core of our vertiport design, development and operation. At Skyports we are developing our systems in collaboration with vehicle manufacturers, operators and leading aviation tech companies.”
The operational testbed will be used by leading eVTOL vehicle manufacturers such as Volocopter, Vertical Aerospace, Airbus, Pipistrel, eHang and others to conduct test flights and demonstrations over the next three years in the run-up to the 2024 Olympics.
The Skyports vertiport will be constructed using modular technology so that it can easily be relocated to a new location at the end of the program, serving as the first commercial vertiport in France.
Why it’s important: Skyports’ foray into vertiport construction in Paris and the intent to use the vertiport as a test site to iron out infrastructure considerations will help to accelerate innovations required to successfully deploy vertiports at scale. The modular design will also allow changes to structure and setup of the vertiport to occur easily, without as significant of an investment prior to the stations becoming initially viable.