Paris and Ile de France. Where will the future flying taxi stations be for the 2024 Olympics?

Les premiers taxis volants devraient sillonner l

The first flying taxis are to cross the Île-de-France for the 2024 Paris Olympics. (©ML/La Gazette du Val-d’Ois)

The futuristic project of flying taxis continued in Ile-de-France. The outline of the system proposed by RATP and the General Directorate of Civil Aviation responsible for the project is taking shape thanks to the publication in September 2022 of a decision by the environmental authority. Among the future landing and takeoff platforms is Large arch from La Defense to Puto (Hauts de Seine) and Austerlitz Quay at Paris are under investigation. They should be functional for the first experimental phase during the Olympics.

Vertiports at La Défense and Quai d’Austerlitz

The location of future landing or take-off platforms, the so-called vertiports, is under investigation. Various sites are slated to experiment with the many challenges involved in establishing larger-scale flying taxi traffic.

l’The Arch of La Défense is considered. The site, which has already served as a helipad, will allow, in particular, to assess the constraints related to the height of the building. A first study concluded that vibration velocities “would not be high enough to cause structural damage and would not endanger the safety of Grande Arche occupants.”

Other planned site: Austerlitz Quay in Paris. The installation of an experimental vertiport will provide an opportunity to investigate the conditions for integrating flying taxis into a dense urban environment in terms of social accessibility, noise and vibration.

Two more sites are currently operating: at Pontoise (Val-d’Oise), future aircraft are currently being certified. To Saint-Cyr-l’Ecole (Yvelines) tests for “endurance, air traffic integration and aircraft autonomy in real operational conditions” are underway.

The first plane for the 2024 Olympics

The environmental assessment aims to ensure that future vertiports will achieve acceptable results in terms of “vibration, noise, emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases and human health”.

The experimental phase should start in April 2024 for Olympic and Paralympic Games of Paris 2024. For eight months, two flying taxis could take off every hour during the day. These first flights should serve as a baseline for establishing future regulations for flying taxis, which are currently subject to the same rules as helicopters.

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The future flying taxis are called “e-VTOL” for “electric vertical take-off and landing”. Electric or hybrid, they will be equipped with a 30 minutes of battery life flight, allowing them to travel between 25 and 30 km. A possible larger scale deployment is planned for 2028-2030.

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