16-Mar-2023 Source: VPorts
VPorts, the global leader in the design, construction, and operation of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) infrastructure, has announced an initial set of agreements with key AAM players as part of its development plan to build and operate the AAM World Integrator World Centre in Dubai. Electra.aero, Falcon Aviation and SkyDrive have joined the centre to be part of VPorts’ strategy to develop the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market and deploy its expertise and innovation in the region.
“With these milestone agreements, Dubai has demonstrated its leadership in the advanced air mobility sector,” said Dr. Fethi Chebil, CEO and Founder of VPorts. “We welcome other partners to join us in shaping the future of the AAM sector by leveraging the world’s first integrator centre, including its facilities and dedicated airspace. Our presence in Dubai is in line with our strategy and ambition to build and operate 1,500 vertiports around the world by 2045.”
Late last year, VPorts signed a 25-year exclusive lease agreement with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH), renewable for a further 25 years, to establish the state-of-the-art integrator centre on a 37,000-square-metre site within Dubai South.
The four new partners will collaborate on technical and business aspects with the aim of using the Dubai integrator centre to showcase their operational expertise, provide MRO related services, if required, test flights in the dedicated airspace, and use the vertiport for commercial purposes.
Designed to establish Dubai and the UAE as a world-class global AAM hub, the future integrator centre will include dedicated flight-testing airspace and innovative new technologies that will support the global growth of the international AAM industry and accelerate the certification of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOLs) aircraft. “The partners are pleased to be supporting MBRAH’s goal of attracting the world’s top aviation companies to establish a presence in the emirate and operate as part of our overall ecosystem,” said Dr. Chebil.
With the support of MBRAH and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), VPorts will establish its Vertiport Operation Control Centre (VOCC) hub as part of the integrator centre in Dubai. The VOCC will have the capacity to manage air traffic integration and set up communication protocols between eVTOLs, vertiports and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP). It will also use artificial intelligence to evaluate data related to resource management, ensuring efficient and timely decision-making processes for all eVTOLs landing, taking off or flying to any vertiport in an eventual global network of locations.
Collaborative and Structural Approach
The integrator centre will foster collaboration among the AAM industry ecosystem and help drive the technological and societal adoption of AAM. The co-location of the entire ecosystem in the centre will facilitate the airworthiness certification of eVTOLs in the UAE and elsewhere in the world. It will also provide an appropriate framework for airspace management and integration testing required for the efficient and safe deployment of AAM while providing a real-world framework for the adoption and deployment of new technologies. The parties are building on GCAA’s strategic plan to develop a sustainable and innovative cluster for the advanced air mobility ecosystem to grow this new mode of air transport globally from a hub in Dubai.
“Infrastructure is the critical piece in opening up new routes for advanced air mobility and offering significant time savings to travelers on urban and regional routes. We look forward to working with VPortsto demonstrate and test the safe and reliable operations of Electra’s eSTOL aircraft, in concert with eVTOL and existing aviation traffic,” said Diana Siegel, CFO of Electra.aero.
“We are pleased to be part of the UAE government’s AAM strategy. The Falcon team is actively engaged in the emerging urban air mobility sector and committed to delivering an effective and sustainable new urban transportation mode,” said Captain Ramandeep Oberoi, Chief Operating Officer of Falcon Aviation.
“This partnership today aligns with our commitment to launch the first eVTOL tourist flights in 2026 from Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai. With our partners and Falcon’s expertise in helicopter operations & MRO, we aim to lead the way by collaborating with the local stakeholders and authorities to develop and deliver effective and sustainable new urban transportation modes and provide the community with safe, faster, and affordable solutions.”
“We are pleased to be taking a part in the UAE government’s strategy for AAM, particularly in Dubai as it is one of the fastest growing and leading AAM markets in the world,” said Tomohiro Fukuzawa, CEO of SkyDrive, Inc. “As the leading eVTOL OEM in Japan, SkyDrive is aiming to deliver full electric and compact eVTOL vehicles for air taxi services and we are committed to provide zero-emission transportation for not only the wealthier population but focusing more on the general public. By collaborating with VPorts, we would be able to secure an air traffic corridor for our vehicle testing and experimenting with our eVTOL capabilities which would be essential to ensure its safety before deployment in the urban areas. SkyDrive recognizes that the UAE is one of the most important markets. It is highly encouraging to be part of this strategic project which will promote AAM in the UAE, the entire GCC region, and help to lead the global market by working together within Dubai South and the GCAA.”