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Paris urban air mobility initiative announces participating companies

RATP Group, Groupe ADP, and Choose Paris Region have selected 30 companies to move forward in a campaign that aims to establish Paris as a leader in urban air mobility.

The initiative was unveiled in September last year with the German eVTOL developer Volocopter as a launch partner. Following a call for expressions of interest that attracted 150 applicants from 25 countries, the organizers have now announced additional partners in five categories including vehicle development, urban infrastructure, operations, airspace integration, and acceptability.

Paris urban air mobility categories
The call for expressions of interest was structured around five categories in order to meet various challenges posed by urban air mobility.

Joining Volocopter in the vehicle development category are Airbus, Ascendance Flight Technologies, EHang, H3 Dynamics, Pipistrel, Safran Electronics & Defense, Volocopter, Vertical Aerospace, and Zipline. Beginning in June 2021, these partners will have access to a test area at the Pontoise-Cormeilles-en-Vexin airfield northwest of Paris, where they can conduct tests related to take-off and landing operations, parking, maintenance, and recharging in cooperation with the French civil aviation authority (DGA) and with the support of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Eurocontrol.

In a press release, Edward Arkwright, deputy CEO of the airport management company Groupe ADP, stated: “The success of this call for international interest shows that there is strong support for the structuring of an air mobility industry in the Paris Region. Alongside all these industrial, academic and research players, and thanks to the setup of a test area at our Pontoise airfield, the first of its kind in Europe, we will now be able to boost its development.”

Other selected finalists include, in the operations category, Air France, CAE, Dassault Falcon Services, ESTACA, Helifirst, and Helipass; for urban infrastructure, Green Motion, IDEMIA I&S, Leosphere, and Skyports; for airspace integration, Cergy University and ESSEC, ENAC, Internest, M3 Systems, and Thales SIX; and for public acceptance, Bruitparif, Ecole Polytechnique, Envirosuite, UC Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies – NEXTOR, ONERA, and Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre.

urban air mobility vehicle over Paris
RATP Group chairwoman and CEO Catherine Guillouard said her transportation company looks forward to the “integration of [air mobility] technology in the urban landscape in view of the 2024 Olympic Games,” which are scheduled to take place in Paris. iStock Photo

More information about each of the finalists is available in the consortium’s press release, which notes that one of the key selection criteria defined beforehand was the maturity of the applicant’s solution.

The organizers see the upcoming 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games as an opportunity to “mobilize a sector to prepare a demonstrator for this horizon, and to make the Paris Region a reference in the global market for urban air mobility.”

“Through the collaboration of public and private players, and by inviting innovative companies from around the world to join us and complete our value chain, we are building a unique ecosystem to develop the urban air mobility sector, reinforce the attractiveness of the Paris region and to support responsible industries and employment,” said Choose Paris Region president Franck Margain.

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