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VPorts makes inroads with ambitious Middle East plan
By 2030, VPorts plans to extend its vertiport network to all major industrial areas across the UAE, providing a sustainable transportation solution via eVTOLs. Signing an agreement with Ras Al Khaimah is a good start.
President and founder of VPorts Dr. Fethi Chebil, chairman of the department of civil aviation at Ras Al-Khaimah His Highness Eng. Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi and CEO of Ras Al-Khaimah airport Ralf Schustereder.

VPorts, an advanced air mobility (AAM) infrastructure company, has signed an MOU with Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) airport to build and operate the first vertiport in RAK designed to establish the UAE as a world-class global AAM hub.

“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,” says Dr Fethi Chebil, president and founder of VPorts. “This project will enable all AAM partners to accelerate the adoption and deployment of advanced air mobility in RAK and throughout the UAE.”

“This project is aligned with RAK's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Strategy 2040 and with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Saudi bin Saqr Al Qasimi, ruler of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, to achieve at least a 30 per cent savings in electricity consumption and a 20 per cent contribution from renewable energy by 2040,” adds 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.”

VPorts' initial growth strategy is based on the regional transportation of goods, tourism and the efficient movement of patients, organs for transplants and medical equipment. The RAK vertiport, which will be established on a 10,000 sqm site, will be designed for all types of eVTOL aircraft. VPorts's vertiports will be opened for all eVTOLs manufacturers.

Ralf Schustereder, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Airport states: “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 as part of a development plan and key player in advanced air mobility. We will provide VPorts with our full support to ensure its success and prosperity.”

The first vertiport in RAK is aligned with VPorts' strategy in the UAE and in the world. 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 optimise 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,” notes Dr Chebil.

In December 2022, VPorts announced the signing a 25 year exclusive lease agreement with the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH), renewable for a further 25 years, to establish an integrator centre on a 37,000 sqm site within Dubai South. Development and construction of the centre will start in 2023; it is expected to begin operations and conduct its first flight test in 2024.

VPorts has also announced an initial set of agreements with key AAM players as part of its development plan to build and operate the AAM World Integrator World Centre in Dubai. US eSTOL developer, Abu Dhabi-based business aircraft operator Falcon Aviation and Japanese eVTOL OEM SkyDrive have joined the centre to be part of VPorts' strategy to develop the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market and deploy its expertise and innovation in the region.

“With these milestone agreements, Dubai has demonstrated its leadership in the advanced air mobility sector,” says Chebil.

“We welcome other partners to join us in shaping the future of the AAM sector by leveraging the world's first integrator centre, including its facilities and dedicated airspace. Our presence in Dubai is in line with our strategy and ambition to build and operate 1,500 vertiports around the world by 2045.”

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