Visitors to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris will get to experience something completely different as a new flying car program that will be used to ferry sports fans from one arena to another.
Pilot testing of the air taxis for the Olympics has already begun and the goal will be to establish two flight paths for the air taxis to transport visitors in the densely populated city during the international event, which has about 6 million attendees normally.
Groupe ADP and RATP Group will test electric take off and landing (eVTOL) flying air taxis at the Pontoise-Cormeilles-en-Vexin airfield in Paris and participating air taxi vendors include Volocopter, Airbus, Vertical Aerospace and Ascendance, Lilium and Joby Aviation — all startups that are currently developing fleets of air taxis.
The 2024 Summer Olympics will focus on two lines: First, between the Paris-Issy-les-Moulineaux heliport and the Saint-Cyr airfield; and second, between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Le Bourget airports and Paris city.
Groupe ADP, an international airport operator in Paris that owns and manages Charles de Gaulle airport, Orly Airport and Le Bourget Airport, will help in carrying out tests before the Games by developing a series of works at the Pontoise airfield such as a landing and take off area, taxiways, parking stands and warehouse planning.
The trial flights before the Olympics were conducted by:
- Skyports using drones for logistics flights such as medical transportation.
- Thales for the deployment of an onboard anti-collision system inside Hélifirst choppers.
- Electric aircraft maker Pipistrel that conducted recharging operations, followed by a flight carried out using the Green Motion company’s certified system.
Future tests will examine:
- Noise and vibration impact – to quantify, predict and model the sound emissions of an eVTROL both close and far to meet acceptability criteria
- Proper drone integration and eVTOL into conventional air traffic — aim to comply with all safety conditions and ensure proper cohabitation with other aircrafts.
- Passenger routes — This study will create a modular “vertiport” reception infrastructure designed by British operator Skyports in partnership with Groupe ADP. The facility will test boarding and disembarking operations, charging batteries and vehicle maintenance that will begin in June of 2022.