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VoloCity exhibited at Fiumicino Airport, Source: Volocopter

Rome Airport eyes flying taxi service

Rome Airport eyes flying taxi service

Urban air mobility pioneer Volocopter is partnering the airport operator to establish airborne connection with the city by 2024

It takes half an hour and EUR 17.50 to get from Fiumicino “Leonardo da Vinci” International Airport to Termini station in Rome via Leonardo Express train. Rome Airport Service taxi rates start from EUR 25, but this kind of transportation suffers from traffic jams. As of 2024, arrivals into Rome may have another, much faster, more exciting, more eco-friendly, although, temporarily, more expensive option – air taxi.

15 minute noiseless, emission-free flight to city centre  

To make this futuristic dream a reality, German startup Volocopter specializing in electric multi-rotor helicopters designed for air taxi use, has announced partnership with the airport’s operator Aeroporti di Roma and infrastructure holding company Atlantia to establish an airport-to-city airborne service.

Christian Bauer, Volocopter’s Chief Commercial Officer, says the company expects to get a commercial air license from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in three years time and then commence operations, using the VoloCity aircraft it is currently developing. The rotor-bladed, battery-powered air taxi has two seats and takes off and lands vertically.

The journey will take about 15 minutes, compared with at least 45 minutes by car and 30+ minutes by train, Aeroporti di Roma CEO Marco Troncone told Reuters. Initially, a ride will cost around EUR 150 euro, a price that only affluent travellers can afford, but it is expected to drop as the service becomes regular. To sweeten the pill, the air taxi promises a silent journey with zero level of emissions.

A prototype of VoloCity has been on display at Fiumicino Airport from 27 to 30 October 2021, and will be moved to Piazza San Silvestro in Rome from 2 to 4 November. People are invited to take a look of and sit in the aircraft to feel some of the experience.

Paris, Berlin and Rome most suitable for flying taxis

Aeroporti di Roma has been recognized by UNWTO as Leaders in Responsible Travel and voted Best Airport by ACI Europe for three consecutive years. The company is a leader in sustainable airport operations, aiming to achieve NetZero status by 2030.

An EASA study has highlighted Rome as the third most suitable European city behind Paris and Berlin for the development of air taxi services. Volocopter has already revealed plans to put a Paris service in operation in time for the 2024 Olympics.

Urban air mobility, the new service offering transportation for people and goods with battery-powered and hence emission free aircraft, will be part of the solution for heavily congested city centres across the world, believes the German pioneer.

“We are proud to contribute to shaping the future in collaboration with Volocopter, one of the most advanced developers for this new type of aircraft and service: this partnership testifies to ADR’s commitment towards sustainability and innovation, as well as to our will to be pioneer in designing the smart mobility of the future upon these premises,” says Troncone, as quoted by Volocopter’s website.

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