Electric air taxis to be tested outside Paris

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Electric air taxis to be tested outside Paris

In the coming months rance will begin testing electric air taxis at a hub outside Paris, with the goal of having two dedicated flight paths to carry passengers in time for the 2024 summer Olympics.

One route would link Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Le Bourget airports, and the other would be between two suburbs southwest of the French capital, according to a statement from Aeroports de Paris.

Volocopter GmbH, Airbus SE, Vertical Aerospace Group Ltd, Lilium NV and Joby Aviation are some aircraft developers participating in the project, along with France's civil aviation authority, according to the airports operator. The takeoff and landing zones at the Pontoise-Cormeilles en-Vexin hub were adapted for the tests earlier this year.

Electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, or eVTOLs, are quickly emerging as a new transport market, with developers raising hundreds of millions of dollars for their projects. Britain's Vertical Aerospace and German rival Volocopter are among the European companies competing for orders alongside Lilium.

The French project adds to a growing list of planned bases around the world, including those promoted by Urban-Air Port and South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co., which is aiming to open a first site in Coventry, England early next year.

There will be tests at the two-run Pontoise hubs, including noise, vibrations on Volocopter flights, safe integration of drones, eVTOLs with conventional air traffic and battery charging, vehicle maintenance.