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Dubai RTA inks agreement to launch air taxi by 2026

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai (Courtesy: Dubai Media Office)

An agreement to launch an aerial taxi service in Dubai was signed by representatives from the Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA,) the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Joby Aviation (Joby), and Skyports Infrastructure on February 11, 2024, at the World Government Summit.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai alongside H.H. Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) were there to witness the event.

The aim of this initiative is to be integrated with Dubai’s public transport network and provide safe and efficient transportation for individuals living and/or visiting Dubai.

The Joby Aviation S4 is the aircraft that will be used for the air taxi. It is designed to be able to fit a maximum of four passengers (excluding the pilot). Equipped with six propellers and four battery packs, the aircraft will be able to travel a maximum distance of 161 kilometers. The aerial taxi is also said to be less noisy than helicopters even with top speed and has a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability.

“RTA, together with Skyports and Joby, has carried out comprehensive studies for the selection of the initial four vertiport sites. Efforts are ongoing with the GCAA, the DCAA, the Dubai Air Navigation Services Corporation (DANS), and other relevant parties to establish the legislative and operational framework required to operate aerial taxis in the emirate. This regulatory and operational framework is the first of its kind in the world,” said Al Tayer.

Kate Liane Sudiacal

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