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Final version of national regulation for vertiports will be released in the first quarter of 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Pixels

Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority has published a draft version of the world’s first national regulation related to vertiports, state news agency WAM announced Tuesday, December 27.

The proposed amendments of the draft regulation have been released for industry consultation. It will be published in its final version in the first quarter of 2023.

Vertiports are hubs for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft that can take off and land vertically without relying on a runway, such as air taxis and drones. The new regulation covers vertiports’ design and operational requirements while ensuring a regulatory environment that supports VTOLs’ efficient and safe operation.

The rapid and increasing development of electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft has created an imperative for new infrastructure, networks and regulatory approaches, said the GCAA.

Demand for vertiports on the rise

The demand for vertiports continues to accelerate as eVTOL manufacturers aim to launch their aircraft by 2024. As a potential global network is envisaged by 2030, this novel carbon-neutral industry must be served by suitable, safe and regulated infrastructure.

The promises associated with this new mode of transportation include ensuring the rapid movement of passengers within cities and reducing traffic jams, fast logistical responses to emergencies and easy access to markets across cities, stated the GCAA.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the GCAA, said: “The proactive development of a regulatory framework for vertiports establishes a foundation within the UAE to ensure safe and seamless operation of urban air mobility.”

He added: “The rapid growth of advanced air mobility presents opportunities in reducing carbon emissions, decreased congestion, and entry to inaccessible markets, achievable through vision, planning and close collaboration with our stakeholders in the aviation industry.”