UAE government announces Dubai Air Taxi launch date

The Prince of Governors of Dubai, Vice President, and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as well as other notable individuals such as His Highness During the "World Government Summit 2024," Dubai's Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was there for an important event.

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An historic first in urban transport was accomplished by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) when they inked an agreement to launch air taxi services in Dubai by 2026.

In collaboration with the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Skyports Infrastructure (a British company), and Joby Aviation (an American company), Dubai hopes to transform urban mobility through electric air taxis and become the first city in the world to provide commercial air travel through sophisticated vertical take-off and landing networks.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inspected the RTA platform at the summit, alongside Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, where they reviewed the Gobi S4 air taxi prototype. This innovative mode of transport, set to operate commercially by 2026, will cater to residents and visitors as part of the RTA's forward-thinking mobility initiatives.

The air taxi, with its capacity for four passengers and a pilot, boasts high safety standards and environmental sustainability, running on electricity with zero operational emissions. Equipped with six propellers and four battery packs, it can cover a distance of 161 kilometres at speeds of up to 321 kilometres per hour, while its vertical take-off and landing capability optimise urban space efficiency.

The signing ceremony, attended by key figures such as His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, underscores Dubai's commitment to innovation and smart city development. With detailed studies already conducted for the first four air taxi station locations, collaborative efforts are underway with regulatory authorities to establish legislative and operational frameworks.

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, from the GCAA, highlighted the issuance of regulations for air taxis and vertical ports, positioning the UAE as a pioneer in aviation regulation. Mattar Al Tayer, from the RTA, emphasised the initiative's alignment with Sheikh Mohammed's vision for a smart Dubai, enhancing transportation options, and ensuring resident happiness.

Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports Infrastructure, and Joben Beffert, CEO of Joby Aviation, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, affirming their readiness to provide exceptional services to Dubai residents and visitors. This groundbreaking agreement, announced at the World Government Summit, underscores the event's role as a catalyst for innovative projects shaping the future across various sectors.

The introduction of air taxi services brings numerous benefits, including environmental sustainability, safety, comfort, and speed. With the GCAA's pioneering regulations, Dubai sets a global precedent for air taxi operations and vertical port infrastructure, paving the way for future expansion and innovation in urban transportation.

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