Imagine soaring through the skies of Dubai in a futuristic air taxi, zooming past skyscrapers and cutting travel time to a fraction of what it used to be. It may sound like a scene straight out of a sci-fi movie, but this could soon become a reality. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has announced plans to launch air taxis by 2026, with the potential to make inter-city travel a possibility. Not only will these electric air taxis be environmentally friendly and safe, but they may also be affordable, making them a day-to-day mode of transportation for many people living in the city. It’s a vision that could rival the transportation of the future seen in some of our favorite sci-fi films.
Ahmed Bahrozyan, Chief Executive Officer of The Public Transport Agency at RTA, said that the service could become affordable for anyone in the future. “We believe that it will be not very far from the price of a normal Uber possibly, and that’s when really it becomes a normal service that anybody can use.”
On Sunday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the design of the new air taxi stations in the city and said the taxis will start operating in three years. This means that we could be soaring in the skies of Dubai as soon as 2026.
The air taxis, which are electric, will have zero operating emissions, a 241 km max range, and a top speed of 300km/hr. The range of these vehicles allows them to do inter-city trips. So potentially in the future, we could have trips from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and from Dubai to Fujairah. This could cut down the travel time from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to just 30 minutes.
Safety, sustainability and affordability are the main factors the RTA is taking into consideration when planning the air taxis. Safety is of the utmost importance for the RTA, and sustainability is at the forefront of the agenda in Dubai and the UAE. These air taxis are electric and very quiet compared to helicopters, for example.
The initial launch network of Vertiports will connect 4 main areas in Dubai – near Dubai International airport, Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai Marina. According to Daniel O’Neill from Skyports, the company that is building the Vertiports, they have already shortlisted potential spots to build them. The spot next to the Emirates metro station is ideally located, providing great mobility integration with the metro and DXB airport.
Overall, the air taxi service promises to be a convenient, safe, and sustainable mode of transport for the people living in Dubai. I am excited to see the future of this transportation service and how it will transform the way people travel in and around the city.