Parisian elected officials reject flying taxis

A flying taxi model presented by the Volocopter company in April 2019 in Singapore.

The project to experiment with flying taxis on the Seine is still far from achieving unanimous support. After the reservations recently expressed by the French Environmental Authority, it was Parisian elected officials who spoke out firmly against it on Tuesday, November 14.

“There is nothing wrong with this project (…)a totally useless and hyper-polluting gadget for a few ultra-privileged people in a hurry”denounced Dan Lert, deputy for ecological transition.

The Aéroports de Paris (ADP) group wants to take advantage, with its partners, the German manufacturer Volocopter and the Ile-de-France region, of the showcase of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris to experimentally circulate electric flying taxis on three lines air routes, including one connecting the Issy-les-Moulineaux heliport (Hauts-de-Seine) to a barge on the Seine located near Austerlitz station. The objective being officially “to experiment with a new mobility offer in very dense urban areas”.

At the beginning of September, however, the French Environmental Authority judged ” incomplete “ the impact study of the future experimental base for flying taxis planned on the Seine, known as “vertiport”involving noise and visual pollution, energy consumption and the risk to the safety of pengers and Parisians alike.

As part of this environmental essment, Parisian elected officials gave a negative opinion to the Paris Council on the creation of this take-off and landing platform which would be fixed to the quay of the port of Austerlitz.

The Ministry of Transport will have to decide

Councilor Florian Sitbon (Socialist Party) criticized a project ” absurd “ dubbed by the State and the Ile-de-France region. “To save a few minutes for a few wealthy people in a hurry, ignorant and contemptuous of the climate emergency, we would pollute the atmosphere, we would destroy the sound environment”, he denounced. The mayor Les Républicains du 15e arrondist, Philippe Gougeon, for his part recalled his ambition to permanently close the Issy-les-Moulineaux heliport.

“The consumption of these flying machines, nearly 190 kWh per 100 km, is two to three times higher than a car with a thermal engine to transport a single penger”added Claire de Clermont-Tonnerre (Changer Paris). “It’s a new use that we absolutely didn’t need (…)like what we experienced with self-service scooters”quipped communist advisor Jean-Noël Aqua, who denounces a “ecological aberration” lined with a “social separatism”, reminding you that you will have to pay “the modest sum of 140 euros for 35 km”.

Among the key stages of the timetable leading to the finalization of the flying taxi project in Paris is the decision of the Ministry of Transport, which should decide “early 2024”, explained the ADP group in September 2023, as well as obtaining certification of the machines by the civil aviation authorities, “in spring 2024”.

The World with AFP

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