It’s Official: First Dubai Vertiport Kicks Off Construction in 2024

VPorts Will Start Building an AAM Integrator Center in Dubai in 2024 8 photos
Photo: VPorts
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Dubai is widely known as one of the most luxurious tourist destinations in the world, and it also wants to become a center of innovation related to clean transportation. eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing) are essential for lowering flight-related emissions and optimizing traffic. The aircraft themselves are ready to enter service. Still, another step must be completed before that, which has to do with dedicated infrastructure centers known as vertiports.
In 2019, an AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) startup called Skyports launched what claimed to be the first vertiport in the world. It was a full-scale prototype located in Marina Bay, Singapore. Skyports developed it with a German eVTOL manufacturer, Volocopter, which is why the vertiport was named VoloPort.

Thousands of people visited the site over five days, admiring the Volocopter aircraft up close and learning more about the specific technologies implemented at vertiports, such as battery swapping for the air taxis and biometric check-in for passengers.

In 2024, a different AAM infrastructure company wants to inaugurate a functioning vertiport (not just a prototype) in Dubai. More than an airport for electric air taxis, this will be the first AAM integrator center in the world. This means it will include flight test airspace specifically dedicated to eVTOLs on their way to certification. With AAM still an emerging sector, VPorts wants to support manufacturers so that eVTOL can enter commercial service as soon as possible.

The future center will occupy 37,000 square meters (nearly 400,000 square feet) in Dubai South. VPorts' partner in this exclusive project is the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH) in Dubai. The two have signed a 25-year lease agreement at the end of last year.

VPort is ready to start building the AAM World Integrator Center next year in compliance with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) regulations. A second vertiport (Ras Al Khaimah) will also be certified soon after.

VPorts also developed specific technology for managing and interconnecting these future vertiports. The system is called VOCC (Vertiport Operation Control Center). It will help link vertiports with eVTOLs and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs). Tools like this are essential for safe and efficient operations, especially as the number of electric air taxis and infrastructure sites will continue to grow.

Skyports, on the other hand, has its plans for Dubai. Together with the California-based eVTOL manufacturer Joby Aviation, Skyports presented a vertiport concept to the local authorities earlier this year.

The concept envisions a network of four main vertiports located in strategic areas – the Dubai International Airport, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Downtown, and Dubai Marina. The Skyports network would connect the busiest areas here while supporting an emission-free alternative means of transportation. This vertiport project also got the green light and is preparing to launch operations in 2026.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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