Aeropporti di Roma, Volocopter, UrbanV, and Atlantia had conducted the first crewed eVTOL public test flight in Italy, while presenting the country’s first advanced air mobility (AAM) testing vertiport and hosting an interative booking process on Volocopter’s VololQ digital platform.
The eVTOL prototype was showcased a year before the test was completed. The last twelve months has seen significant progress made in flight technology, vertiport design and the regulations necessary to enable the first AAM services between Fiumicino Airport and the city of Rome planned to take to the skies by 2024.
Volocopter’s test pilot aboard the electric Volocopter 2X flew 40 km/h for 5 minutes at 40 meters height along a “figure 8” flight path in front of spectators after attaining all the necessary clearances from the Italian authorities, the civil aviation authority (Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile – ENAC), and the provider of air traffic control services (Ente Nazionale Assistenza al Volo – ENAV), whose role stays central in shaping the future AAM ecosystem.
Volocopter’s electric air taxi is designed for quick and emission-free passenger flights in urban environments over congested roads and waterways, reflecting Atlantia’s and Aeroporti di Roma’s plan to play a pioneering role in making the future of aviation increasingly innovative and sustainable.
“Today’s event represents a significant milestone in our path as pioneers in testing and implementing Advanced Air Mobility in Italy, and in playing our part in making urban transports increasingly sustainable and seamless,” said Marco Troncone, CEO of Aeroporti di Roma.
“The opening of the first vertiport in Italy and the first crewed eVTOL flight represent a remarkable step towards the activation of the first AAM routes between Fiumicino airport and Rome city centre by the end of 2024, ahead of the Jubilee, to offer our contribution to our city and our institutions in welcoming the international tourist flows with a ground-breaking, innovative service. ”
The vertiport is designed to host various types of tests for both flight and ground operations, with an electric system devised to allow testing of various eVTOL charging technologies.
The infrastructure occupies an area of 5,500 square meters and has been sized to help compatibility with the main eVTOLs that will be certified in the future. It consists of a final approach and takeoff area (FATO) for landing and takeoff operations; a parking area; a covered hangar measuring 20 x 20 x 6 meters; various rooms, including an office, a warehouse, and an area for battery charging.
“We’ve come from a signed partnership agreement and event series kickoff to a flight test at an operational airport in a little less than a year. With that, we are bringing together all the key stakeholders and regulators to witness this mobility service and technology with their own eyes. ” said Christian Bauer Volocopter’s Chief Commercial Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer
The flight was then followed by a vertiport demonstration hosted by UrbanV alongside Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur, Aeroporto di Venezia (SAVE), and Aeroporto Guglielmo Marconi di Bologna. From flight operations to booking and beyond, VoloIQ will be supporting and streamlining UAM/AAM operation scale-up in cities around the world to complement the physical infrastructure (vertiports) and entire ecosystem in the digital dimension the company said.