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Airports are intermodal places by definition, where VTOL (Vertical Take of Landing) technology comes into its own: airport-city connections will be the first applications, offering an additional transport solution to complement existing modes of transport where the airport is already a major interchange.
Groupe ADP, which has airport infrastructure management in its DNA, wants to act as a catalyst in developing this service in Ile de France, thanks to its airport infrastructure network that is unique in Europe. This ambition also extends to exports for Groupe ADP through its network of 24 airports and engineering expertise, currently focusing on VTOL airports called vertiports.
The Paris airport system has a competitive advantage in developing suburban routes over the period to 2024, thanks to a grid with three major airports and ten aerodromes, some in attractive places for tourism.
In 18 months, an experimental vertiport will be launched at the group’s 10 aerodromes to test all the components of this service: ground and air operations (UTM), energy and maintenance facilities and even the future passenger route. After analysing the assets of each aerodrome based on around twenty criteria (safety, access, available space, operations and urban environment), and exchanging with our partners, the chosen site will be announced at the end of this year.
The vertiport model envisioned can be adapted to different capacity needs: one with moderate capacity and another, more forward-looking, with greater capacity.
The proposed solution is a model with mobile platen so that once the VTOL is in place, various functions can be completed by moving the platen: landing, passenger disembarkation, maintenance, passenger embarkation, take-off:
o The VTOL turns off its engines once is in place, allowing it to stop consuming energy and evolve safely.
o This will simplify the passenger experience: the VTOL, via the moving platform, automatically comes close to the passengers who are waiting in a secure area.
This VTOL reception system is evolving and agnostic, capable of handling all types of equipment, to align with the market. Our partnership approach with major groups like Airbus as well as start-ups like Ascendance takes a similar line.
“A lot of attention has been paid to the flying object, and at least as much should now be given to the conditions to launch this service, and its acceptability. This is because the flying vehicle is only a new expression of airport activity, which we expect to play a leading role in the development of VTOL technology in Paris, and internationally, thanks to an agnostic vertiport model and the deployment of a demonstrator in 18 months at one of our aerodromes in the Paris region" said Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO of Groupe ADP.