VoloCity: Rome airport to bring flying taxis to Italy

Fiumicino airport to Rome city centre could take just 15 minutes in air-taxi drone.

Getting from Rome's international Fiumicino airport into the centre of the Italian capital normally takes about 45 minutes in a taxi, depending on traffic.

This journey time could be cut to just 15 minutes within a couple of years under futuristic plans unveiled by Aeroporti di Roma (AdR) and Atlantia, the Italy-based global company which manages motorways and airports.

Thanks to a collaboration with German company Volocopter, an international leader in Urban Air Mobility (MAU), Italy is set to be among the first countries to use 'VoloCity' drones to transport people and goods.

Air travellers and Rome residents can see at first hand the electric sky taxi on display at Fiumicino airport from 27-30 October and again from 2-4 November at Piazza S. Silvestro in the city centre.

During the double event, organised with the support of Italy's civil aviation authority ENAC, onlookers will be able to get into the VoloCity, a two-seater air taxi designed to help decongest city centres and offer emission-free flights.

In Rome's case, the VoloCity will connect Fiumicino with multiple locations in the city via "vertiports" which facilitate the vertical take-off and landing of large-scale unmanned aircraft across populated areas.

The new battery-powered service, which promises to allow users to travel in "comfort and quality", is set to become a reality in Italy within "two-three years" according to a statement on the Atlantia website.

Atlantia, the main shareholder of Rome airport management company AdR, says the innovative mobility project has the support of the Italian authorities and regulators.