VPorts has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Airport to build and operate a first vertiport in RAK, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The RAK vertiport, which will be established on a 10,000-square-meter site, will be designed for all types of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. VPorts’s vertiports will be open for all eVTOL manufacturers.
“With the support of the Department of Civil Aviation of Ras Al-Khaimah, we are excited to build and operate the first vertiport at Ras Al Khaimah Airport. This project will enable all AAM partners to accelerate the adoption and deployment of Advanced Air Mobility in RAK and throughout the UAE,” said Dr. Fethi Chebil, President and Founder of VPorts.
“This project is aligned with RAK’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Strategy 2040 and with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, to achieve at least a 30% savings in electricity consumption and a 20% contribution from renewable energy by 2040,” said His Highness Eng. Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman, Department of Civil Aviation, Ras Al Khaimah. “We are committed to supporting the VPorts project and to enable AAM-related innovation and technology and know-how capacity building in the UAE and in RAK.”
Ralf Schustereder, Ras Al Khaimah Airport CEO, commented: “Ras Al Khaimah Airport is pleased to sign this agreement with VPorts to set up a vertiport in our airport. RAK Airport is aiming to be a leading enabler of RAK’s economic and tourism growth. This project will position RAK Airport as part of a development plan and key player in advanced air mobility in RAK. We will provide VPorts with our full support to ensure its success and prosperity.”
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 optimize 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 Chebil.
In December 2022, VPorts announced the signing of a 25-year exclusive lease agreement with the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH), renewable for a further 25 years, to establish a state-of-the-art integrator center on a 37,000-square-meter site within Dubai South. Development and construction of the center will start in 2023; it is expected to begin operations and conduct its first flight test in 2024.
With the support of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the world’s first AAM integrator world center in Dubai will feature a dedicated flight-testing airspace and innovative new technologies. “With our partners, we aim to foster the global growth of the international AAM industry and the certification of eVTOL aircraft,” added Chebil.
VPorts will deploy its Vertiport Operation Control Center (VOCC) as part of the AAM integrator world center in Dubai with the support of the MBRAH and the GCAA. The VOCC will have the capacity to manage air traffic integration and set up communication protocols between eVTOLs, vertiports and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP).
As part of this major undertaking, VPorts will work with an extended partner network to engage with key strategic poles of expertise, including eVTOL manufacturing, flight simulation and training, regulators, air navigation service providers, technology service providers, operators, electric charging manufacturers and urban planners.