Taxi Flying Cars Spark Controversy in Paris 2024

Parisian elected officials have firmly opposed a project to experiment with flying taxis on the Seine, sponsored by the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) group for the 2024 Olympic Games, denouncing an “absurd” project and an “ecological aberration.”

“There is nothing in this project, a totally useless gadget and very polluting for a few privileged and hurried people,” denounced Dan Lert, deputy of Ecological Transition at the Paris City Hall.

A problematic time gain

ADP, with its partners the German manufacturer Volocopter and the Ile-de-France region, wants to take advantage of the showcase of the Olympics to experimentally operate electric flying taxis on three air routes, one of which will connect the heliport at Issy-les-Moulineaux to a barge on the Seine near the Austerlitz train station. The official goal is to “experiment with a new mobility offer in a very dense urban area.”

In early September, the French Environmental Authority (AE) had deemed the impact study of the future experimental flying taxi base on the Seine, known as “vertiport”, “incomplete”, calling into question noise and visual pollution, energy consumption, and the risk to the safety of passengers and Parisians.

In the context of this environmental assessment, Parisian elected officials have given a negative opinion to the Paris Council on the creation of this take-off and landing platform that would be located on the Austerlitz port quay.

The counselor Florian Sitbon (PS) criticized an “absurd” project endorsed by the State and the Ile-de-France Region. “To save a few minutes for a few rushed, ignorant and contemptuous privileged individuals regarding the climate emergency, we would pollute the atmosphere and destroy the sound environment,” he denounced.

140 euros for 35km

Meanwhile, the LR mayor of the XVth arrondissement, Philippe Goujon, reiterated his ambition to permanently close the heliport at Issy-les-Moulineaux.

“The energy consumption of these flying machines, nearly 190 kWh per 100 km, is two to three times higher than that of a thermal engine car for transporting a single passenger,” added Claire de Clermont-Tonnerre (Changer Paris).

“This is a new use that we absolutely did not need, similar to what we experienced with free-floating scooters,” joked Communist Councilor Jean-Noël Aqua, denouncing an “ecological aberration” combined with “social separatism,” reminding that one would have to shell out “a modest sum of 140 euros for 35 km.”

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