Italian and French airports combine to create vertiport company

Italy’s Rome, Venice and Bologna airports have teamed up with France’s Aeroports de la Côte d’Azur in Nice to create Urban Blue, a company which will be dedicated to building and managing infrastructures for eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) flying taxis in the four Italian and French cities according to REUTERS news agency.

Atlantia’s Aeroporti di Roma, Aeroporto di Venezia, Aeroporto Guglielmo Marconi di Bologna and France’s Aeroports de la Cote d’Azur said that Urban Blue will be open to other industrial, technology and financial partners for the gradual expansion of the project in Italy, France and elsewhere.

Urban Blue will be supported by EDF Invest, a shareholder in Aeroports de Côte d’Azur, while also teaming up with German eVTOL flying taxi specialist Volocopter. While there are no financial details available for the project, it is understood that 2024 is being targeted for vertiports to be operational in Nice, Venice and Rome.

Marco Troncone, the CEO of Aeroporti di Roma, a unit of infrastructure group Atlantia, said Urban Blue was working with a “challenging but possible timeline, to allow Rome to be among the first cities in Europe to activate this type of connection”. Rome is seen as the third-most suitable city for urban air mobility (UAM) development and on Wednesday, October 27, Volocopter will be showcasing one of its battery-powered aircraft at Riome’s Fiumicino Airport.

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