VPorts agrees to create first AAM integrator centre in Dubai

VPorts agrees to create first AAM integrator centre in Dubai

8-Dec-2022 Source: VPorts

VPorts, the world leader in the design, construction and operation of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) infrastructure, has announced a historic partnership with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH) at Dubai South to establish the world’s first AAM integrator world centre in Dubai.

Set to establish Dubai and the UAE as a world-class global AAM hub, the ground-breaking project includes dedicated flight-testing airspace, assigned blocked airspace and innovative new technologies which will foster the global growth of the international AAM industry and accelerate the certification of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

VPorts has signed a 25-year exclusive lease agreement with MBRAH, renewable for a further 25 years, to establish the state-of-the-art AAM centre on a 37,000-square-metre site within Dubai South. The project, which represents an initial investment of $40 million over three years, is expected to generate US$7 billion in direct revenues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi Combined, over the next 25 years and create 1,500 high-quality direct jobs. Development and construction of the AAM integrator world centre will start in 2023; it is expected to begin operations and conduct its first flight test in 2024.

In his comments, Tahnoon Saif, CEO of Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub, said: “Our mandate at MBRAH is to attract top global players in the aviation sector to establish their presence in the emirate and operate as part of our overall ecosystem. We are pleased to sign this agreement with VPorts to launch the first-of-its-kind integrator world centre, which will enable and support worldwide eVTOL manufacturers and operators with flight testing facilities in all conditions. It will also help position Dubai as a world leader in advanced air mobility. We will spare no effort in supporting Vports so it can prosper, succeed, and connect with different stakeholders.”

As part of the agreement, VPorts will partner with private investors to deliver advanced infrastructure, development, and operations. Multiple revenue streams and opportunities will be pursued and leveraged across all phases of development, from project conceptualisation through design, development, and long-term implementation. USA-based NEXA Capital Partners of Washington, DC, will lead the initial investment round, assembling a consortium of investors already active in the AAM sector.

“GCAA’s strategic plan is to build a sustainable and innovative cluster for the Advanced Air Mobility ecosystem to thrive and grow this new entrant mode of air transportation globally from a hub right here in Dubai,” said Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). “As a leading civil aviation organization, we are reshaping the regulatory landscape to leverage the presence of the principal project partners in Dubai to enable innovation and to foster AAM-related technology and know-how capacity building in the UAE and across the world. We aim to build an efficient and sustainable framework that supports the growth and integration of AAM.”

“With this milestone agreement, Dubai has underlined its leadership to the Advanced Air Mobility sector,” said Dr. Fethi Chebil, CEO and Founder of VPorts. “This is a landmark day that brings future mobility one step closer to reality. VPorts is thrilled to be leading the development of this first and only AAM integrator world centre. Our presence in Dubai is aligned with our strategy and ambition to build and operate 1,500 vertiports around the world by 2045.”

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