Skyports Infrastructure has had its vertiport design approved for development by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, at this year’s World Government Summit.

The vision for Dubai’s future air mobility infrastructure network was jointly presented by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Skyports Infrastructure at a closed presentation ahead of the start of the World Government Summit, an annual three-day event which brings together international government officials and business leaders.

Joby Aviation, which recently became the first eVTOL aircraft manufacturer to complete the second stage in the FAA aircraft type certification process, also joined RTA and Skyports Infrastructure to promote the opportunities by aerial mobility in Dubai.

Four vertiport sites located near Dubai International Airport, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Downtown and Dubai Marina, which are currently being considered by Skyports Infrastructure and RTA, were presented to a senior delegation which included Sheikh Mohammed and Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports, said: “We are honoured to have received such strong endorsement of our Dubai vertiport vision from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. The appetite for technology innovation and infrastructure expansion in Dubai makes it a hugely promising environment for the launch of advanced air mobility. We’re excited to continue working with the RTA to make our joint vision of an integrated vertiport network a reality in 2026.”

The air mobility exposition demonstrates the RTA and Skyports Infrastructure’s planned roadmap for developing a vertiport network in Dubai, including a concept for how future vertiport infrastructure may look and how it will integrate with existing transportation, such as the RTA’s Dubai Metro network and Dubai International Airport.

Ahmed Bahrozyan, Chief Executive Officer of The Public Transport Agency at RTA, said: “The RTA’s plan for aerial taxis is in line with the Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy, which aims to make 25 per cent of all trips in Dubai driverless by 2030. `

“The project aims to roll out a new mobility service driven by pioneering technology to ease the mobility of individuals across urban areas in a safe, smooth, and sustainable manner integrated with the public transport network in Dubai.”

RTA previously showcased its autonomous aerial taxi at the World Government Summit 2017. Also in the same year, the trial run was initiated for the first test flight of an air taxi capable of carrying two passengers. The purpose of this project is to develop the necessary commercial and technical abilities to offer this innovative service in the emirate.

His Highness was also briefed by Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, on the latest updates to the aerial taxi operations project. He also presented an architectural model of Skyports’ vertiport near Dubai International Airport.

Al Tayer said: “Vertiports embody a revolutionary form of infrastructure that encompasses a range of facilities such as designated take-off and landing zones, a passenger waiting area, security protocols, and electric charging stations.

“These stations seamlessly integrate with other modes of transportation. The next step involves identifying exceptional investors who are experts in building the necessary infrastructure for the air mobility industry.”

He added: “The RTA’s aerial taxi initiative aligns with the Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy, aimed at transforming 25 percent of total mobility journeys in Dubai into driverless journeys by 2030. The RTA is working closely with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, General Civil Aviation Authority and Dubai Air Navigation Services to create a one-of-a-kind comprehensive framework for the operation of such vehicles in Dubai.

“This includes the development of legislation and setting clear specifications and standards for vehicle operators. RTA, in collaboration with its strategic partners, outlines the flight paths for the vehicles, identifies take-off and landing sites, and specifies the necessary equipment for safe and efficient operations.”