Italian authorities are supporting a joint initiative to pave the way for eVTOL air taxi services to start in Rome. Aeroporti di Roma and ground infrastructure group Atlantia today launched a partnership with German eVTOL developer Volocopter to prepare to launch an urban air mobility (UAM) network in the Italian capital in 2023 or 2024.
In an October 27 announcement, the partners said they expect the first eVTOL services to connect Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (also called Fiumicino) with a chain of vertiports around the city. Volocopter’s two-seat VoloCity eVTOL will have a range of around 22 miles, and the company is also developing a larger, longer-range vehicle called the VoloConnect. The company intends to run the proposed flight network through its VoloIQ digital platform.
As part of an ongoing exercise to win public support for UAM, Volocopter displayed the VoloCity at Fiumicino Airport this week. It will also be exhibited in the Piazza San Silvestro in the heart of Rome from November 2 to 4.
The partnership has the support of the Italian civil aviation authority, ENAC, and air traffic management agency ENAV. Atlantia, which is the main shareholder in Aeroporti di Roma airports group and also in France’s Nice-Cote d’Azur, Cannes, and St. Tropez airports, recently invested in Volocopter. In addition to airports, the group runs other key infrastructure such as highways. Aeroporti di Roma is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions status by 2030.
“We have proven again and again that our aircraft are flying fully scaled,” said Volocopter chief commercial officer Christian Bauer. “Now we are focusing on putting the UAM ecosystem in place in several cities, just like Rome, to host our fully electric mobility solutions upon certification. There could not be any better partners to bring this exciting mode of mobility to Italy than ADR, which is recognized to be one of the most innovative and sustainable airports in Europe.”
Volocopter is also part of a consortium of 30 companies and organizations working to launch eVTOL air taxi services in Paris in time for the 2024 Olympic Games.