Leonardo Joins Rome Airport Operator’s Vertiports Team

UrbanV is the new name for the joint company planning to develop a network of vertiports in Italy and France.
Credit: Aeroporti di Roma

With the goal of launching one of Europe’s first commercial urban air taxi routes in 2024, Rome airport operator Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) has partnered with Leonardo to develop ground infrastructure and the air traffic control configurations required for vertiports.

ADR is developing a network of vertiports under UrbanV, the new name for Urban Blue. Formed in August 2021, the joint company was formed in partnership with the operators of Italian airports in Venice and Bologna alongside France’s Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur to develop, internationally, the infrastructure for advanced air mobility. UrbanV is working with Volocopter to launch operations with an initial network of vertiports in Rome, Nice and Venice.

In addition to exploring ground equipment and technology for vertiports, ADR and Leonardo will test new operational concepts to accelerate technology, regulatory and procedural readiness with the goal of moving from experimentation to service provision.

“ADR is actively working on designing the ground facilities …to facilitate the operational start-up of this type of service in Rome, with a challenging timeline to launch the first commercial operations between Fiumicino Airport and the city of Rome in 2024, maybe on an experimental basis, and to offer the option of flying taxis the same year,” Ivan Bassato, ADR chief aviation officer, says in a statement.

Graham Warwick

Graham leads Aviation Week's coverage of technology, focusing on engineering and technology across the aerospace industry, with a special focus on identifying technologies of strategic importance to aviation, aerospace and defense.