Advanced Air Mobility News

VPorts Takes Major Steps in Advancing AAM in Middle East

VPorts Takes Major Steps in Advancing AAM in Middle East

VPorts, the Quebec-based advanced air mobility (AAM) infrastructure company, will build a vertiport for eVTOL aircraft at Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK) Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the airport with the vision to make UAE a “world-class global AAM hub,”.  The vertiports will be built on a 10,000-square-meter site and are designed to service all types of eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft.

The partnership comes as VPorts also signed agreements with, Falcon Aviation and SkyDrive, which are the major stakeholders to join the development plan of an AAM business center in Dubai, as a means to bring vertiports into commercial operation.

The vertiport project is supported by the Department of Civil Aviation of Ras Al-Khaimah. It is aligned with the airport’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Strategy 2040, which aims to save 30% of electricity consumption by 2040.

Vertiports are landing pads and transportation hubs for future air taxis — similar to helipads for helicopters to take off and land. The facilities to be built will play an important role in the AAM ecosystem.

Ralf Schustereder, CEO, Ras Al-Khaimah Airport hopes to make RAK airport a key player in the AAM industry through its collaboration with VPorts.

His Highness Eng. Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman, Department of Civil Aviation, Ras Al-Khaimah said, “We are committed to supporting the VPorts project and to enable AAM-related innovation and technology and know-how capacity building in the UAE and in RAK.”

In December 2022, VPorts reached a 25-year agreement with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH) to build an AAM business center at Dubai South, which comes with the option to be extended by another 25 years. The facility will be used for flight testing and developing new technologies. The company plans to expand its vertiports to the country’s industrial areas, which also include Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

The business center, which represents an initial investment of USD$40 million over three years, is expected to generate USD$7 billion in direct revenues in Dubai and UAE capital Abu Dhabi, and generate 1,500 direct jobs in the next 25 years.

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