By Vincenzo Claudio Piscopo
ITA Airways Focuses on Urban Air Mobility
ITA Airways has become the first Italian company to join the ENAC project to help people with autism familiarize with air travel in all its stages, from arrival at the airport, to check-in, to staying on the plane and up to the arrival stopover. This ENAC project, started in 2015, has already been implemented in about 20 airports with the collaboration of Assaeroporti — the association of 29 Italian airport management companies operating at 37 Italian civil airports — and with the involvement of Associations to help autistic people and their families.
The Italian national airline will make its simulators available in its training center so that autistic passengers can realistically experience the sensation of flying and, at the same time, be supported by qualified instructors. In this way they will be able to become familiar with air travel, which could be a difficult moment to live.
Four days ago, ITA Airways signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus to develop vertical take-off and landing Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in Italy with the aim of exploring UAM services tailored to the Italian market. The focus will be on the CityAirbus NextGen all-electric eVTOL prototype aircraft unveiled in September 2021. This eVTOL will have fixed wings, a V-tail, an eight-propeller propulsion system and a spacious cabin with four seats (the pilot and three passengers) to ensure easy boarding. The CityAirbus NextGen’s range will be 80 kilometers with a cruise speed of 120 kilometers per hour.
Airbus is committed to ensuring that CityAirbus NextGen fits seamlessly into urban environments, minimizing noise pollution as much as possible and more easily gaining public acceptance. The ultimate goal is to stay below 65 dB(A) during overflight and below 70 dB(A) during landing. Note that these values (from the official Airbus website) are in dB(A), so the measurement is weighted and adjusted to take into account the different sensitivity of the human ear to different frequencies of sound.
ITA Airways has consolidated its partnership with Airbus which, after the purchase of 28 aircraft from Airbus, likely will continue for a long time as the airline as expressed a desire for fleet simplicity.
The Italian national airline’s strategy is to focus strongly on digital transformation to provide an increasingly better experience for its customers. The latest agreement signed two days ago with the Amadeus IT Group is for the use of their Amadeus Airline platform. Amadeus IT Group is a spanish multinational company that deals with the process of research, price calculation, booking and issuing of tickets, and departure control systems and offers its services to more than 200 airlines. The migration process to this platform will be completed by early 2023.