Nice airport wants to welcome flying taxis from 2024

The Airports of the Côte d’Azur have joined forces with Italian airports in the hope of forming the future European champion of eVTOL.

Last week, the airports of Rome, Venice, Bologna and the Côte d’Azur, led by Nice, announced in a communicated the launch of Urban Blue, a company working on sustainable mobility. It will give pride of place to the new generation of electric vertical take-off aircraft, or eVTOL, on which several manufacturers are working.

This is a particularly promising technology. On paper, these machines have it all; elegant, fast and agile to the point of being able to move in a dense urban environment… One day, they will surely make it possible to decongest the streets and to rethink all our city logistics. It is therefore a popular theme among aeronautical engineers. In the last few months alone, we have seen this sector make considerable progress.

We can cite Joby, whose flying taxi offered a distance record in a single charge. There is also Honda, who is working on a model designed for long distances. We also saw the Alauda Aeronautics Mk3 pass byAirspeeder, a superb beast with the air of a racing module that would probably have pleased the young Anakin Skywalker.

This technology is now arousing real enthusiasm. On the industry side, we are delighted to see the emergence of a new promising sector, which could weigh 4 billion euros within ten years according to Nice airport. Consumers are curious to see the arrival of this technology that could revolutionize the city. The eVTOL therefore seem to have a bright future. Except that today, technology is far ahead of infrastructure. It is to fill this logistical void that Nice airport has joined forces with its transalpine colleagues.

The Airspeeder Alauda Aeronautics Mk3, an extraordinary machine. © Airspeeder

Top start in 2024?

The airports in question were chosen for their “strong commercial potential”. They are indeed important tourist destinations, and even top notch for Venice and Rome. In addition, they all have elements favorable to the implementation of eVTOL. All these towns are built on relatively shallow terrain (all things considered). They also have very favorable weather conditions the flight of these devices.

They should therefore welcome their first vertiports – a heliport specially adapted to eVTOL – quite quickly. In their press release, the new partners expect Urban Blue to start operating from 2024 in Nice, Rome and Venice. An ambitious goal, but certainly not risky; this date corresponds to the start of the next Olympic Games, which will take place in Paris. It should be remembered that the RATP, Aéroports de Paris and Airbus have also joined forces with the aim of produce a fleet of eVTOL for this deadline.

It therefore seems that this still fledgling industry is on the way to emerge once and for all; in just three years, we could well make our first trips by electric flying taxi. Very exciting, when you know that they were still a daydream in a not so distant past.

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