Abu Dhabi Airports to explore developing ground infrastructure for air taxis

Airport operator signs agreement with France's Groupe ADP to study potential for electric vertical take-off and landing

Abu Dhabi Airports signed an air taxi agreement with French engineering and operations firm Groupe ADP. Photo: Abu Dhabi Airports
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Abu Dhabi Airports has signed an agreement with France airport operator Groupe ADP to explore developing ground infrastructure for air taxis in the UAE capital.

The two parties will explore the potential for advanced air mobility in Abu Dhabi, particularly for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to move people and cargo, Abu Dhabi Airports said on Monday.

Under the agreement, the two airport operators will undertake joint planning, design, development and operation, it said. This is following discussions with stakeholders, a feasibility study and a market assessment.

The advanced air mobility system “integrates flight technologies with transformational aircraft designs which utilise electric power to hover, take off and land vertically, enabling sustainability in air transport for both passengers and cargo”, said Jamal Al Dhaheri, managing director and chief executive of Abu Dhabi Airports.

Using this technology will help drive “efficiency, convenience and most importantly, sustainability”, he said.

The move comes as companies around the world are racing to develop and eventually obtain regulatory approval for air taxis amid a push for greener transportation.

Airlines are looking at developing transport services using battery-powered aircraft that can take off and land vertically to carry travellers to airports or on short trips between cities, so they can beat traffic.

Regulatory approval is required for air taxis, as well as for building airport infrastructure and so-called “vertiports” for take-off and landing.

Abu Dhabi Airports signed the deal with Group ADP at the Abu Dhabi Air Expo last week.

The two sides will collaborate on building an advanced air mobility (AAM) plan and accelerate the development of the necessary infrastructure in Abu Dhabi, Philippe Martinet of Groupe ADP Airport Services said.

“With our hands-on experience in the Paris region today, and our deep understanding of the industry, its infrastructure and operational challenges, we will be supporting Abu Dhabi Airports in laying the ground for AAM service implementation in Abu Dhabi,” he said.

Updated: November 07, 2022, 3:18 PM