The high traffic of cars, long distances within the city, and public insecurity are three characteristics of Lima that make it a qualified city for the implementation of a system of air taxis through helicopters, says Jerome Ronssin, Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters, according to Gestión.pe.
In this regard, Airbus has designed its app called Voom, a platform similar to the app of taxis such as Uber or Beat and that allows obtaining flights in helicopters for long or congested distances within the city. Currently, Voom only works in Sao Paulo and Mexico City. Airbus is interested in implementing Voom in Lima. However, there are still some pending challenges, says Ronssin.
"What we are doing today is to get closer to the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC), we approach our operators and potential clients to position ourselves as a partner company to help grow this part of the market." Yes we see a potential (in Lima) and what we are doing here is to work together among authorities, operators and manufacturers to be able to build a system that works," the Airbus spokesperson told Gestión.pe.
In addition to this, an inconvenience for the development of this app is the low development of heliport infrastructure that allows flying over the city in different points. Just as there are few heliports, Ronssin explains, the regulation for helicopters does not allow overflying with high frequency in the airs of Lima. In addition, a helicopter operator will be required as Airbus provides access to the application through the signing of an agreement.
"(For example, in Sao Paulo) A flight between an international airport and a heliport tower in the center of the city with a single-engine Airbus helicopter would take 20 minutes, cost around the US $ 100 or the US $ 120 per flight".
The Voom app works by picking up different passengers around the city and also disembarking them simultaneously. Ronssin explained that the air taxi is designed for people who need to shorten their transportation time within the city for business reasons or that require leaving from the city to the outskirts for specific jobs such as field trips.
"Lima is a big city, with a lot of congestion, with big distances, with insecurity, with an airport that is far from the city center or far from where people who can rent or buy a helicopter live. These are the elements that theoretically they must justify the appearance of this system," says Jerome Ronssin.