Facility will allow companies to test and operate vertical take-off and landing
Dubai will house an advanced air mobility (AAM) integrator centre, the first of its kind in the world, which would allow companies to test and operate electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
To be set up by VPorts, which specialises in the design, construction and operation of AAM infrastructure, in Dubai South with an investment of $40 million over three years, the project itself will create 1,500 high-quality direct jobs in the UAE.
‘‘We are excited to build the first vertiport network connecting major UAE industrial areas. Similar to heliports, the vertiports will be designed for take-off and landing by eVTOLs,” said Dr Fethi Chebil, CEO and founder of VPorts.
“Logically, the first places to set up vertiports are existing helipads. Industrial and cargo areas are also excellent options to consider. We look forward to collaborating with each and every Emirate to define the location of dedicated vertiports, safety and security regulations, flight corridors, urban integration and business community engagement for this important undertaking,” he said.
He added that by 2030, the network will extend to all major industrial areas across the UAE, providing a sustainable transportation solution via eVTOL.
Dr Chebil pointed out that 1,500 highly-skilled jobs will be created by 2030 by VPorts. “These are highly-paid jobs such as engineers, decision-makers etc. who would make sure that flights are flying safely.”
The centre, which would be set up in partnership with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH), will commence operations in 2024.
VPorts signed the deal under a 25-year exclusive lease agreement with MBRAH, renewable for a further 25 years, to set up the centre on a 37,000-square-metre site. The project is expected to generate $7 billion (Dh25.7 billion) in direct revenues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi over 25 years.
“Our presence in Dubai is aligned with our strategy and ambition to build and operate 1,500 vertiports around the world by 2045,” said Dr Chebil.