Paris to contest plans for river landing pad for flying taxis at 2024 Olympics

France's government has given the go-ahead for a floating landing pad for flying taxis to be built on the River Seine. It's set to be shown off during the Paris Olympics, but Paris City Hall says it plans to challenge the landing pad permit in court.

An official decree published Tuesday said that the pad "can be used until 31 December, 2024" after months of suspense over whether the taxis would take to the air during the July 26 - August 11 Paris Games.

Flying taxis

The landing site will float on the Seine near Austerlitz railway station in southeastern Paris.

So called "flying taxis" are large futuristic drones capable of transporting several people. (You can see the new Volocopter in the accompanying video between 3:47 – 5:13)

Flights will be limited to two per hour, between 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and no more than 900 over the whole trial period "given the experimental nature" of the vehicles, the decree read.

Private firms involved in the flying taxi project include Paris airport operator ADP and Germany-based Volocopter.

Its "Volocity" two-seaters are fitted with 18 electric-powered rotors on a circular frame above the fuselage.

They hope to use the global draw of the Olympics to show that the technology can efficiently link "vertiport" take-off and landing sites.

City Hall opposition

But several city officials in Paris have derided the plans as harmful to the environment.

The Council of Paris had already expressed its opposition to the project.

Read more on RFI English

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