By 2026, Dubai will have fully operational flying taxis

The CEO of a London-based company overseeing the construction of the UAE’s inaugural vertiport confidently proclaimed that flying taxis would be fully operational in Dubai by 2026, concluding the third Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport.

During discussions on the future of air mobility, Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports, stated, “Dubai will lead globally, with a fully-established network of vertiports for permanent air taxi services by 2026,” referring to electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

A vertiport, distinct from a helipad or heliport, is specifically designed to accommodate advanced air mobility (AAM) transports like drones and air taxis. It requires ample space between landing and take-off pads to accommodate multiple drones and is equipped to refuel eVTOLs.

Design approved

Walker’s remarks at the Dubai World Congress for Self-Driving Transport, organized by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), were in line with Dubai’s aim to introduce air taxis by 2026. The design of Skyports Infrastructure’s vertiport was approved at the World Government Summit in Dubai earlier this year.

At the event, Mattar Al Tayer, RTA Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, presented a model of the vertiport to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

Initially, the flying taxi vertiport will operate between stations in Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Downtown, and Dubai Marina, with a primary hub near Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Flying time

Flying taxis are projected to reach speeds of up to 300 kph and cover a maximum distance of 241 km, accommodating up to four passengers and a pilot.

Walker informed the audience and transportation experts that the flying taxi would reduce travel time from DXB to Palm Jumeirah during rush hour from 45 minutes to six minutes, with an additional 10 minutes at the vertiport.

In addition to time savings compared to ground transportation, flying taxis will offer other benefits, including alleviating ground congestion and operating with zero-carbon emissions.

Forefront of future transport

Walker commended Dubai for spearheading the future of transportation, attributing its success to “efficient government coordination, established regulatory framework, network of feasible sites, integrated transport, and robust business demand.”

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