First works in 2024 to build two vertiports in Citylife and Porta Romana and two more in Linate and Malpensa, first flights in 2026 – on the occasion of the Winter Olympic Games – and two thousand passengers a day when fully operational. But, in three years, we would start with the Malpensa-city center “shuttle”, initially at around 120 euros per passenger, then at 70-80 euros. Milan is preparing for the arrival of flying taxis and Sea, the company that manages the two airports of the Lombard capital, begins to make the first concrete moves. This was confirmed by the managing director of SEA, Armando Brunini, during the municipal hearing of the Budget, Mobility and Control of investee bodies commissions.
The new company
Sea’s number one announced the creation of a new company that will take care of the design, construction and management of the vertiports, i.e. the runways and structures where the electric air taxis will take off and land. The newco sees 51% of Sea, 30% of Skyports (a specialized company) and 19% of 2i Aeroporti (which is also a shareholder of Sea). “In 2030 we estimate about 2,000 passengers transported by flying taxis every day in the area,” estimates Brunini, citing studies by the Polytechnic University. To build the first 4 vertiports, operational from 2026, “we expect total investments of just over 30 million euros”, calculates the CEO of SEA and a turnover in 2030 “around 13 million euros with a profit of about 2 million ».
The plan envisages the creation of an important vertiport, called a mini-hub, at Malpensa, “while the city ones will be rather small, 3-4 thousand square meters – continues Brunini -: like heliports but with a small terminal for check-in in, safety, etc.». The goal is to transport the thousands of people who will arrive in the Lombard capital for the Milan-Cortina Winter Olympic Games.
But how much will it cost? «The prices are set by the service operator», explains Brunini, since Sea will offer the vertiport but the flying taxis will be used by special companies. «But according to the analyzes made, the initial cost for 2 passengers traveling from Malpensa to the city of Milan will initially be 120 euros per person, roughly what you pay with a NCC (rental with driver, ed)”. But the intention is “to capture not only those who fly with a private jet, but also other passengers”, starting with those in the premium seats of scheduled flights. That’s why, Brunini reveals, «the Emirates company is interested in this type of service for its business class travellers».
In subsequent years
The price will drop when flying taxis capable of carrying 4-6 passengers are introduced, because the current ones work on a journey with a maximum of 2 people for 30-60 kilometres: «At that point we imagine that the cost of the Malpensa-Milan route could go down to 70-80 euros». According to Brunini, “an airport-city shuttle service on specific corridors is initially envisaged”, also because “when fully operational, one third will still be traffic from/to the airport”.
The identified areas
The study by the Politecnico di Milano on behalf of SEA analyzed the possible demand and identified 17 areas in Lombardy where to build the vertiports: one in Malpensa, one in Linate, 9 in urban areas and 6 in the region. “It is clear that the provincial capitals are all to be considered the seat of a vertiport – continues the CEO in the hearing -, as is also imaginable another structure on Lake Como for the tourist segment for those landing at the Lombard airports”. As far as Milan is concerned, the project on the vertiport at Citylife “is in a more advanced stage, the one for Porta Romana still to be decided”.
The derby with Rome
Milan’s move is in some way a response to Rome’s intentions where Aeroporti di Roma, the company that manages the Fiumicino and Ciampino airports, plans to start the first connections in the city and between the city and the airports by taxi in 2025 steering wheels. AdR invests directly in Volocopter, a company that has created an electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle. Volocity’s first (experimental) flight took place on 6 October: the goal is to put them into circulation as part of the 2025 Jubilee.
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