The Volocopter during the test flight at Fiumicino Airport, Source: Volocopter

The sky is the limit: Rome presents first vertiport in Italy

The sky is the limit: Rome presents first vertiport in Italy

Advanced Air Mobility services are expected to become a reality in the Italian capital by 2024

This morning, Fiumicino Airport in Rome became the stage for a test flight of an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft – an act that also simultaneously inaugurated the first vertiport in Italy. The test flight was seen as the precursor to the development of a fully-fledged urban air mobility ecosystem in the capital city.

The start of operations of the first Italian vertiport is a fundamental step towards the opening to the public of the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) services in Rome by 2024. Today's test was carried out one year after presenting the first eVTOL prototype in Italy. 

In the last twelve months, significant progress has been made in terms of flight technologies, the design of the vertiports and the regulations necessary to allow the first AAM services between Fiumicino airport and the city of Rome to take flight.

A flying cab to beat the traffic

The partners of the project for the implementation of AAM services in the Italian capital are Aeroporti di Roma, Volocopter, UrbanV and Atlantia.

The Volocopter test pilot, aboard the Volocopter 2X electric helicopter, flew at 40 km/h for 5 minutes at a height of 40 metres, performing a figure "8" flight trajectory in front of spectators. The flight test had obtained all the necessary authorizations by the competent Italian authorities.

Volocopter's electric air taxi has been designed to allow passengers to fly fast and emission-free in urban environments, both on heavily trafficked land routes and over water flows. The characteristics of the aerotaxi reflect the will of Atlantia and Aeroporti di Roma to play a pioneering role in making urban mobility practicable and accessible to the public.

Recent studies from EASA and the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility argue that the estimated size of the urban air mobility (UAM) market in Europe - including R&D, vehicle manufacturing, operations and infrastructure construction - will be around € 4.2 billion by 2030. Plus, the capacity to create or sustain around 90,000 jobs (excluding manufacturing jobs). 

Looking at the variety of benefits that UAM can bring in Europe, the study ranks Rome as one of the most suitable cities in Italy for the implementation of UAM / AAM services.



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