Electric air taxis take flight in Paris for 2024 Olympics, will Utah see them in 2034?

PARIS — As the stage is being set for the opening of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris this summer, a new era of innovative air transit is in the works. Paris will become the first European city, and possibly the first globally, to offer electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft services in time for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Volocopter, the German aircraft manufacturer that designs and engineers personal air vehicles for air taxi use, announced on March 1, that it has received the go-ahead from the German Federal Aviation Office to train pilots to use the aircraft, positioning the company at the forefront of the urban air mobility revolution. The ability to provide pilot training is a big step toward expanding air taxi services internationally.

Volocopter and Groupe ADP, the international airport operator based in Paris, have led the charge in integrating eVTOL services with Paris’s public transport network, presenting an eco-friendly alternative in an attempt to redefine urban travel.

The initial service will feature three connection routes and two tourist round trips, using the VoloCity aircraft, designed for a pilot and one passenger, to operate discreetly at altitudes below 500 meters, or 1,640 feet. The company took the aircraft on its first test flight in New York City back in November of last year.

“Our flight in NYC proves that we have everything required to make this emerging technology flourish in this city. This event was an amazing opportunity to showcase how electric air taxis can elevate the quality of life in a city that never sleeps,” VoloCity officials said.

The next question asked, is whether Utah will be next in this endeavor, as the potential host of the 2034 Olympics. In a recent Opinion article on Deseret News, the authors, Aaron Starks and Robert Carroll wrote,

“Utah legislators have enacted forward-thinking policies to create a regulatory framework in which advanced air mobility technologies can flourish. They have passed laws enabling the creation of air mobility corridors and directed the Utah Department of Transportation to create an advanced air mobility sandbox that will accelerate these technologies in a safe testing environment.”

The recent project in France aims not only to introduce a new mode of transportation to the public, but also to demonstrate the feasibility of emission-free and noise-minimal urban air mobility.

The initiative reflects a shared vision for decarbonizing aviation, improving urban transport, and embracing a future where electric air taxis are a common sight in cities worldwide.

“Utah is uniquely positioned to lead the world in establishing highways in the sky by the 2034 Winter Olympic Games. By integrating advanced air mobility solutions into our infrastructure, we will not only enhance Utahns’ connectivity and mobility but also create a more sustainable future,” Starks and Carroll wrote.

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