UAM takes big leap forward with Europe’s first vertiport testbed inaugurated near Paris

Crewed Volocopter 2x flies in front of ADP and Skyports Vertiport at Pontoise-Cormeille testbed ©Nokolay Kazakov/Volocopter

Europe’s first urban air mobility (UAM) vertiport testbed terminal, located at Pontoise-Cormeilles airfield just outside of the French capital, Paris, has been officially inaugurated.

This new facility will permit the testing of critical technology as well as passenger processes. The testbed at Pontoise-Cormeilles, has been designed by Skyports in collaboration with Groupe ADP and is aircraft agnostic. As a result, the set-up provides the entire UAM ecosystem the opportunity to test and develop appropriate technologies. Additionally, it will facilitate collaboration between the key ecosystem partners, including technology pioneers, regulators and local partners such as the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC), suppliers and airlines.

The testbed will permit trials for vehicle integration, ground movement procedures, charging procedures, flight scheduling, situational awareness, and information exchange. Beyond these, the testbed will also enable the simulation of the passenger journey through the terminal, including security and check-in processes, biometric technologies (provided by SITA), passenger dwell time, and aircraft boarding.

Groupe ADP, Skyports and Volocopter have jointly commissioned the vertiport testbed and a model of the VoloCity, which is being developed as Volocopter’s first certified aircraft for commercial services, was featured at the launch in addition to a crewed test flight of the 2X model – the only aircraft currently authorised by DGAC for eVTOL test flights in France.

The series of demonstrations by Skyports and Volocopter also featured displays of flight monitoring capabilities and digital operating systems, including Skyports’ vertiport operating systems and the VoloIQ. The Re.Invent Air Mobility testbed at the airfield is now the most extensive technology-enabled test site for UAM in Europe with an innovation consortium formed by Groupe ADP, Choose Paris Region, and RATP Group, and made up of 30 ecosystem partners which has now propelled France to the forefront of UAM development.

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