Groupe ADP, Skyports and Volocopter have officially opened a vertiport terminal testbed designed to explore urban air mobility (UAM) technology and passenger processes. Located at France’s Pontoise-Cormeilles airfield, the Re.Invent Air Mobility testbed facility is being called “Europe’s first fully integrated vertiport terminal for the [UAM] industry.” The launch event included a crewed test flight of Volocopter’s 2X electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft along with demonstrations of flight monitoring capabilities and digital operating systems.
“The Pontoise-Cormeilles terminal is a physical demonstration of the fact that innovation won’t occur in isolation; it requires collaboration from a multitude of area experts, including operators, vehicle manufacturers, and technology developers, each of which have an important role to play in achieving the ultimate objective of commercial AAM [advanced air mobility] services,” said Skyports CEO Duncan Walker. “With the completion of the terminal, we will now begin comprehensive testing of procedures and technologies in a realistic aviation environment, creating a space for Skyports and consortium partners to accelerate the industry.”
Among the concepts to be tested at the Pontoise-Cormeilles vertiport are UAM vehicle integration, ground movement procedures and charging procedures as well as flight scheduling, situational awareness and aircraft boarding. Groupe ADP, Skyports and Volocopter are part of the Re.Invent Air Mobility initiative, which was launched in 2021 to “bring together an ecosystem around urban air mobility” in the region around Paris. As previously reported by AVweb, 30 companies were selected by the RATP Group, Groupe ADP and Choose Paris Region to participate in the initiative.