An international call for building an urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem around the Paris region drew 150 applications from 25 different countries and 30 winners were chosen to perform experiments in a trial area at the Pontoise-Cormeilles-en-Vexin Airfield beginning of June 2021.
The categories structured to meet the challenges presented by UAM are as follows:
- 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.
Trials will be conducted at an existing aeronautical setting at Pontoise in close collaboration with the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGA) and with the assistance of EASA and Eurocontrol with reference to parking, take-off and landing procedures as well as maintenance or electrical recharging operations around the vehicle. Volocopter is the preferred eVTOL maker. In the coming months the selected companies will be able to share experience, establish synergy and conduct tests at the Pontoise airfield.
The Paris region project has brought together industry leaders in UAM mobility, such as Airbus, as well as start-ups and major academic and research institutions, such as the University of Berkeley and the French Civil Aviation School. Further to that, the prospect of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games being held in France presents an exceptional opportunity to plan and mobilize the UAM sector, as well as to establish the Paris Region as a major global reference point for the industry.
“Through the collaboration of public and private players, and by inviting innovative companies from around the world to join us, we are building a unique ecosystem to develop the urban air mobility sector, reinforce the attractiveness of the Paris region, and support responsible industries and employment,” commented the President of Choose Paris Region Franck Margain.