Look: UAE’s first vertiport operates successfully on Abu Dhabi's Yas Island

More vertiports will be set up in strategic locations across Abu Dhabi, including major business hubs and tourism destinations


Ashwani Kumar

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


KT Photos: Ashwani Kumar
KT Photos: Ashwani Kumar

Published: Thu 25 Apr 2024, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Apr 2024, 10:19 PM

The UAE’s first vertiport for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOLs) aircraft was unveiled and operated successfully on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

Vertiport is a dedicated area supporting the vertical takeoff and landing of aircraft without the need for a runway. A temporary vertiport facility, launched at the DRIFTx mobility event, successfully conducted the take-off and landing of flying taxis at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

At the event, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), in collaboration with the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Abu Dhabi Mobility (AD Mobility), an affiliate of the Department of Municipalities and Transport – Abu Dhabi (DMT), unveiled the UAE’s first operational vertiport.

Stay up to date with the latest news. Follow KT on WhatsApp Channels.

This came after the GCAA announced granting the operational approval for the UAE’s first vertiport on Thursday morning.

Later, during a panel discussion at DRIFTx, a top official from the GCAA revealed that Yas Island will feature the first vertiport in the country.

“We issued our first approval for vertiport operation here on Yas Island. So, this is a great achievement to see things moving into reality. Something futuristic is now becoming reality. I think we are very much ready for day one,” Aqeel Al Zarouni, assistant director-general of the aviation safety sector at the GCAA, said.

A GCAA official confirmed to Khaleej Times that the area near the creek on the circuit and the Yas Marina area was earmarked as a temporary vertiport facility.

Between 4.30pm and 5pm, a two-passenger eVTOL aircraft with a capacity of 600kg took off and landed back after being airborne for about 20-25 minutes. Later, another eVTOL aircraft operated successfully.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the GCAA, said: “Events like DRIFTx play a crucial role in accelerating the development of advanced air mobility in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”

The temporary vertiport facility has been constructed in line with the latest industry standards and regulations set by the GCAA. The temporary location on Yas Marina Circuit has three platforms marked for take-off and landing.

More vertiports

Abdulla Al Marzouqi, Director General of AD Mobility, underlined that more vertiports will be set up in strategic locations across Abu Dhabi, including major business hubs and tourism destinations.

“Once complete, the vertiport network will be a key enabler of Abu Dhabi’s Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) cluster. Centred in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, it provides state-of-the-art facilities and value-add services within an enabling regulatory environment for companies developing advanced technologies across air, land, and sea mobility applications. This is an exciting time for mobility in Abu Dhabi.”

Badr Al-Olama, Director General of ADIO, noted: “Abu Dhabi’s vertiport network will mark a significant milestone in transport innovation and the future of mobility. Our partnership with AD Mobility is pivotal for creating robust infrastructure to make smart and autonomous vehicles a reality and part of everyday life, propelling us towards a more connected and efficient future. The network will create extensive commercial opportunities for transport infrastructure companies, creating economic development alongside technological advancement.”

The approval for the vertiport and successful demonstration during the event is a remarkable achievement in the UAE’s acceleration towards the urban mobility revolution.


More news from Business