His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of DubaiTogether with His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, and Mattar Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), today witnessed the signing of an agreement to launch an air taxi service in Dubai by 2026. .
The Agreement was signed before the World Government Summit (WGS) by RTA with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Joby Aviation (Joby), the world leader in air taxi development, and Skyports Infrastructure (Skyports), the leading provider of vertiport infrastructure. for the advanced air mobility (AAM) industry. Following the agreement, Dubai will become the first city in the world with a city-wide commercial electric air taxi service and a network of vertiports.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, accompanied by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, also reviewed the Joby Aviation S4 air taxi, which is scheduled to enter commercial operations in 2026. The project is part of ACR’s future mobility initiatives, aimed at providing transportation services for both residents and visitors to Dubai.
His Highness was informed by Mattar Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Council of Executive Directors of the RTA, on the advancement of air taxi operations. This innovative transportation service uses cutting-edge technology to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of people within urban areas. The initiative aims to integrate with Dubai’s public transport network.
He Joby Aviation S4 It is designed to safely accommodate four passengers plus the pilot. It is equipped with six propellers and four batteries, allowing it to travel a maximum distance of 161 km. With a maximum speed of up to 321 kilometers per hour, the air taxi is less noisy than helicopters. Its vertical takeoff and landing capability makes it efficient for urban environments, eliminating the need for ample horizontal space typically required by conventional stations.
The agreement was signed by Mattar Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Council of Executive Directors of the RTA; Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy on behalf of GCAA; Mohammed Abdulla Lengawi, Director General of DCAA; Duncan Walker, founder and CEO of Skyports; and JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation on behalf of their respective organizations.
This agreement marks a world first, establishing a binding partnership between a government agency, an aircraft manufacturer and operator, and a vertiport owner and operator. Under the agreement, RTA will oversee advanced air mobility services, Joby will provide an aerial ride-sharing service and Skyports will gain exclusive rights to design, build and operate a network of vertiports.
Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, saying,
“The UAE air transport sector, thanks to the wise directives of our leadership, is witnessing continuous development in line with global best practices. What we are witnessing today is the latest milestone in our efforts to improve the sector’s leadership and global competitiveness. The UAE air transport sector has taken a major step forward regionally and globally by announcing the launch of the pioneering air taxi project. “It is set to bring about an unprecedented transformation in the country’s urban transport landscape, making it more flexible and sustainable.”
“The General Civil Aviation Authority worked in cooperation with its partners to formulate the national regulatory framework necessary for the implementation of this pioneering project. The Authority issued regulations for air taxis and vertical ports, thus becoming the first national aeronautical authority in the world to issue this regulation, laying the foundation for the future infrastructure of the air transportation system in urban areas. The move will also create new investment opportunities in air transport and smart transport infrastructure in our cities.”
Bin Touq highlighted the importance of integrating efforts of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, he RTA and all partners involved in this project, in order to build infrastructure in accordance with the highest global standards to enable the future of advanced air mobility. It is also essential to ensure that all necessary preparations are made to safely and smoothly operate vertical ports within cities, in coordination with existing airspace users, he noted.
“The air taxi initiative is part of RTAEfforts to adopt future transportation technologies. The initial phase of the air taxi service will be launched in four main locations: near Dubai International Airport, the Downtown area, Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah. These vertiports will stand out for their innovative design, with take-off and landing areas, dedicated spaces for passengers and security checkpoints, electric charging stations and integration with public transportation systems.”
Al-Tayer he commented.
“The air taxi service offers a novel and efficient mobility option for Dubai residents and visitors, enabling fast, safe and convenient travel to key points in the city. For example, a flight from Dubai International Airport to Palm Jumeirah is expected to take just 10 minutes, compared to 45 minutes by car. This service will also improve integration with various public and individual means of mobility, such as taxis, electric scooters and bicycles, thus facilitating seamless multimodal transportation, improving connectivity across the city and ensuring a seamless travel experience for passengers.”
“RTA, together with Skyports and Joby, has carried out extensive studies for the selection of the four initial vertiport sites. Efforts are being made with the GCAA, DCAA, Dubai Air Navigation Services Corporation (DANS) and other relevant parties to establish the legislative and operational framework necessary to operate air taxis in the emirate. This regulatory and operational framework is the first of its kind in the world.”
“It is an honor to collaborate with the Dubai government to showcase the value of air mobility globally. The agreement encompasses the three crucial elements required for the successful introduction of air taxi services: an aircraft with the capacity and range to deliver meaningful journeys, a definitive path to operations, and well-located infrastructure supported by dedicated partners. “We are excited to offer an exceptional experience to both residents and visitors to Dubai and are excited to establish a foundation to extend our services throughout the UAE.”
For the first time in the region, job showcased its revolutionary aircraft at the World Government Summit, giving participants a first-hand experience of what it will be like to fly on the five-seat aircraft.
“This agreement marks an important step towards the launch of commercial air taxi services in Dubai. The industry has never been closer to making it a reality. This agreement brings together the key factors that facilitate advanced air mobility: strong and innovative local leadership; a leading global aeronautical partner; and critical land infrastructure integrated with the emirate’s existing transport networks. The strategic positioning of our vertiports in key locations in Dubai will improve connectivity and provide a faster travel option for residents and visitors. With the Definitive Agreement signed, the exciting part now begins: designing and building our vertiports.”
At WGS 2023, RTA and Skyports presented a preliminary design concept for a vertiport located near Dubai International Airport. This planned vertiport features a three-story structure dedicated to parking, with the upper deck featuring a vertiport terminal and a designated airfield for air taxi operations. A distinctive feature is the vertiport’s connection to the Emirates Metro station, allowing seamless access and promoting multimodal transport. The modern design of the vertiport will be in harmony with Dubai’s iconic landscape, offering a prominent, convenient and efficient transportation option. Dubai’s future vertiports will provide comfortable, air-conditioned amenities, built to the highest international safety standards, ensuring a comfortable and seamless experience for passengers.
Air taxis offer several key benefits, including vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, a low noise footprint, and zero operational emissions. This allows for greater flexibility in urban environments, helping to bring passengers closer to their intended destination. These vehicles prioritize safety, comfort and speed, incorporating cutting-edge technology in their design and manufacturing.
More than 4,000 participants from the public and private sectors will participate in 110 interactive sessions in WGS 2024, including 200 speakers from 80 international, regional and intergovernmental organizations, including the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Arab League. It will also feature eight Nobel laureates and provide a platform for 23 ministerial meetings attended by more than 300 ministers. In partnership with a select group of knowledge partners, the Summit will launch more than 25 strategic reports, focusing on the most important practices and trends in vital sectors.
News source: Emirates News Agency