• The Urban Blue project brings together the airports of Nice, Rome, Venice and Bologna with the aim of working on “flying equipment, 100% electric” technology to “meet the mobility needs of users”, affirms Franck Goldnadel, president of the Management Board of Aéroports de la Côte d'Azur.

  • Thus, the vehicle will be able to leave the airport and land vertically in the city center of Nice.

  • The Citizen Collective 06 denounces "a bad sense of priorities".

We're a long way from 2214 and Leeloo, “the fifth element,” getting in the Korben Dallas cab.

Far from the style of the yellow flying taxi, and yet, in less than three years, "new equipment capable of transporting passengers and goods" will fly over Nice, ensures Nice airport.

Between helicopters and drones, these devices will be "100% electric".

A project called “Urban Blue”, initiated by the Riviera platform and those of Rome, Venice and Bologna.

"Our two objectives are to be the laboratory for the airport of tomorrow and to be a pilot to achieve carbon neutral emissions by 2030," says Franck Goldnadel, Chairman of the Management Board of Aéroports de la Côte. Azure.

With this technology, we are responding to an evolving need in terms of population displacement.


"This large drone will allow a user to avoid taking his car"

In 2024, this “big drone”, and not “a flying taxi” because “we do not yet know what the precise need will be”, will be presented as “a complementary means” to what already exists.

"We must be ready and be able to accompany users in their travels," indicates the chairman of the management board.

We must think about urban journeys as well as the infrastructures that must be put in place.


He adds: “The advantage with this equipment is that it takes off and lands vertically, you just need a surface, not a runway. For example, point A could be the airport and point B, a place in the city center to connect to other forms of mobility such as cycling. The idea is to avoid taking your car, or to supplement the transport of goods. We notice it every day, in Nice, the traffic is far too dense with increasingly congested road traffic. "

For this project, the airports are calling on Volocopter manufacturers for e-Vtol models, electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles.

This German company takes care of the technology to be developed, in particular for batteries, recharging time and autonomy.

“The most important thing is to know how we are going to treat the passengers and the most optimal ways to recover energy”, specifies Franck Goldnadel.

On the details of the product delivered, "it will be the partner companies who will refine according to technological developments," he assures us.

On our side, we bring the expertise of the surface to welcome them.


The Citizen Collective of the department finds that "it is not the priority"

Other airports, such as those in Paris, also have these ambitions for 2024. "We are not in competition at all," says the manager of the Côte d'Azur airports. The interest is to provide solutions to the population and to emit as few emissions as possible. On our side, the only deadline is that of the manufacturers ”. He also assures that this innovation will be "accessible to all" and cites the examples of the plane which has become democratized, "just like cell phones, in less than fifteen years".

For the Citizen Collective 06, which aims "to inform and mobilize citizens on the key issues of the territory", this innovation is "a diversion". Ayri Chrétien, the co-founder, exclaims: “It looks like the front page of a science fiction newspaper from the 1970s. It's a social choice but the priorities are elsewhere. We are not against progress, but it must be useful. This is not the version that must be democratized, the effort and energy to be put into the trains and the cycle paths. Not in an electric helicopter which will clutter the sky and increase noise pollution.Who really wants this? "The Citizen Collective 06 has also taken legal action" for misleading commercial practice with an environmental aim "considering that" carbon neutrality "communicated by Nice airport" is a lie ".

The first tests can take place in "a few months thanks to the proximity to the sea to fly safely", says one on the side of the airport.

Because, "obviously, to fly over the population requires a very strict regulation".


No, the extension of Nice airport is not called into question by a decision of the EIB


Closed since the first confinement, terminal 1 of Nice airport will reopen (just for the summer)

  • Science

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