The centre will be developed by VPorts, Dubai South, and crucially, the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), it was announced at MEBAA yesterday.
The ground-breaking project includes dedicated flight-testing airspace, assigned blocked airspace, and surrounding technologies designed to nurture the growth of the AAM industry.
Development of the centre, which will bring the UAE an initial direct foreign investment of $40 million over three years, is expected to generate $7 billion in direct revenues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi over the quarter of a century.
It will create around 1,500 highly paid jobs in the UAE.
Although the centre will be developed in Dubai, it is planned to be part of a larger UAE-wide network.
While AAM is discussed globally, and around 650 companies are developing eVTOL aircraft, it is the active support of the regulatory authority that will make Dubai so attractive as a global hub.
With regulatory support, the centre can accommodate safe testing for certification, bringing the future of green mobility closer, and encouraging AAM companies, and their wide support systems, to come to the UAE.
Walid Ibrahim Al Rahmani, assistant director general – strategy & international affairs at UAE GCAA, said it was time to take daring steps in order to move ahead.
He said: “The UAE is home to people who are looking for first movers’ advantage. It is befitting that we are talking to Dubai South and Vports; it came to us at the right time, as we already had in our strategic plans for 2023 to 2026 to publish regulations for the certification of vertiports in the city.
“We were already prepared to support such developments with regulatory oversight, and we are looking forward to learning from the experience and from the test bed that is going to commence operation soon, which will help us to develop and modify our regulatory system.”
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