Dubai: The futuristic Saudi city-in-the-making NEOM has struck an alliance to design, implement and operate vertical mobility services there. The joint venture partner is Volocopter, which has pioneered urban air mobility.
The collaboration will lead to a three-dimensional public transportation system, advancing the technical, regulatory, and infrastructure solutions for eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) operations across NEOM. The partners have agreed to an initial order of 10 VoloCity passenger and five VoloDrone logistics aircraft to support early activation of flight operations. The JV will then scale up to “incubate urban air mobility” in the region and seed a vertical mobility ecosystem. The partnership will help with NEOM’s mission to be a “global living lab for future mobility”.
The JV will be the sole operator of initial public transit routes across NEOM, while enabling an open eVTOL system for vertical mobility services that include logistics, emergency response, and tourism. NEOM has placed a confirmed order of 15 Volocopter aircraft to commence initial flight operations within the next two- to three years.
Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO at NEOM, said: “In designing cities and urban infrastructure for the 21st century, mobility is at the center of the equation. Through this joint venture, we are demonstrating to the world that NEOM is the ideal region to implement urban air mobility rapidly and create a fully integrated vertical mobility ecosystem.”
eVTOLs are an essential part of NEOM’s mobility mission, enabling transportation of people and goods without extensive surface infrastructure. Vertical mobility services will connect NEOM’s core urban development - THE LINE - the reimagined industrial city, OXAGON, and other regional destinations, avoiding intrusive road construction and thus protecting its unique natural environment.