Nice Airport partners with Lilium and Urban V to create Europe’s first regional vertiport

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has announced its plans to introduce a new network of fully electric vertical take-off and landing craft by 2026 and thus become the first regional airport in Europe to host the innovative vertiport concept.  

Billed as a fast, convenient and environmentally friendly new method of travelling, the innovative vertiport network plans unveiled by Nice Côte d’Azur Airport in conjunction with Lilium and Urban V could revolutionise regional travel in the Riviera.  

This partnership with Lilium, the Germany-based developer of the first all-electric vertical transport jet, also known as eVTOL, and Italian vertiport network company UrbanV, sets in motion a pioneering project to make next-generation regional transportation a reality by 2026.  

Nice Airport, the second busiest in France with over 14 million passengers each year, intends to set up a regional vertiport network linking the city to Monaco, Saint Tropez and Cannes. Additional routes to Marseille, Sophia-Antipolis and Aix-en-Provence are also in the works, with confirmation due by the end of 2024.  

The initial network is anticipated to be operational by the year 2026 and will be a first in Europe.  

“This collaboration with Lilium together with our subsidiary UrbanV marks an important step in the transformation and decarbonisation of regional air mobility,” says Franck Goldnadel, Chairman of the Board at Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur. “Our territory offers a unique opportunity to fly over the sea to directly connect the main economic, cultural or tourist destinations. A complementary alternative to the helicopter, the eVTOL has its place in the air transport offered from Nice Côte d’Azur, laboratory of the airport of tomorrow, second platform in France and gateway to and exit from a landlocked territory.” 

The new system will be a serious boon to the airport’s eco-credibility. Nice Airport has vowed to hit carbon neutrality by 2030 and these zero-emission transport options fit right in the scheme, doing double duty by replacing polluting cars as well as cutting the long travel times typically required to get to other destinations in the area.  

“As a truly European company based in Munich, Germany, with flight testing in Spain and with nascent roots in France, Lilium is extremely proud to be able to assist in the creation of the first regional eVTOL network in the south of France and the first commercially viable network in the EU,” says Sebastien Borel, CCO of Lilium. “We see an enormous potential in this region and cannot wait to see our Lilium Jet fly there soon.” 

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Read related:

Nice Airport to receive €4.1 million in EU funding for emission-cutting project


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Image via Lilium