Ground infrastructure Urban air operations

Infrastructure is a critical part of the UAM ecosystem

Thursday, 20 July 2023

Elisabetta De Bernardi, Investment Director Airports & Mobility Services at Mundys (formerly known as Atlantia), was one of the speakers during the panel discussion ‘How to monetize Innovative Aerial Services and Innovative Air Mobility?’ on March 21 during ADW Hybrid. Soon after, we asked her some questions.


What does an investment director at Mundys do?

Mundys is a strategic investment holding company. So we invest in a different type of companies and we combine assets in the transport infrastructure construction sector with digital service platforms. But the objective of all of our investments is to focus on improving mobility and make it grow and develop more and more. And we think that in our portfolio, advanced mobility fits very well because it goes in that direction that we think is important to evolve mobility. 

How do you invest in Urban Air Mobility?

We believe in sustainability and therefore in advanced mobility. Full electric is really going in the direction of getting better mobility: safer, smarter and going toward the goal of decarbonization. When we decided to open our mind to advanced air mobility, we decided to work towards two directions. So we had the investment in Volocopter and then we focused on the development of vertiports.

Last year our companies Aeroporti di Roma, Volocopter, UrbanV, and Mundys conducted the first crewed, eVTOL’s public test flight in Italy, while presenting the country’s first advanced air mobility (AAM) testing vertiport and hosting an interactive booking process on Volocopter’s VoloIQ digital platform. The test came one year after the first eVTOL prototype was showcased in Italy. In the last twelve months, significant progress has been made on flight technology, vertiport design, and the regulations necessary to enable the first AAM services between Fiumicino Airport and the city of Rome planned to take to the skies by 2024.

That means you foresee a great future for UAM?

“Well, I think so. I hope so. Clearly, it's not easy to quantify how big it's going to be. But this industry, the drone industry, is focused on short and straight movements of goods and people. Once technology and regulation will be in place, there is a huge potential for this market.”

At the moment most of the money goes to vehicles. Some argue that the infrastructure is lagging. How do you feel about that?

“Yes, most of the money is spent in the development of the eVTOLs. We are an infrastructure company and that’s why we are really focused on the development of the vertiports. Infrastructure is a critical part of the ecosystem. In the near future those investments need to be profitable. The support of all parties and institutions and regulations are critical in order to have the achievement of the results in time. And for this, we want to work together with the regulators and actually promote the definition of joint tables where all the players can work together, having the same targets, the same objective and setting the same rules. That’s critical.” 


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