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Canadian startup Vports to build Ras Al Khaimah’s first vertiport

The signing of the MoU between Ras Al-Khaimah Airport and Vports

Canada’s urban air mobility startup Vports is expanding its reach across the UAE as the country moves ahead to make advanced air mobility a reality. 

Vports signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Airport to build and operate the first vertiport in the emirate as an advanced air mobility (AAM) hub.

The RAK vertiport, established on a 10,000 sq m site, will be designed for all types of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. All eVTOLs manufacturers will be allowed to use the vertiport.

By 2030, VPorts plans to extend its vertiport network to all major industrial areas across the UAE, providing a sustainable transportation solution via eVTOL aircraft. The network will focus on locations that optimise multimodal transportation connectivity, including Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai South, Jebel Ali, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

“We look forward to collaborating with each and every emirate to define the location of dedicated vertiports as well as safety and security regulations, flight corridors, urban integration and business community engagement for this important undertaking,” said Dr Fethi Chebil, president and founder of VPorts.

In December 2022 VPorts signed a 25-year lease agreement with the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub to establish an integrator centre on a 37,000-square-metre site within Dubai South. 

Development and construction of the centre will start in 2023. The first flight test will be conducted in 2024.

Last month Dubai Roads and Transport Authority said that flying taxis will become operational in the emirate by 2026, with “vertiports” initially connecting downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Dubai International Airport and Palm Jumeirah.

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority issued the world’s first national vertiport regulation in December 2022. It covers the design and operation of vertiports – areas of land, water or structures used for vertical take-off and landing aircraft. 

The regulation is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2023.