AAM infrastructure specialist VPorts has become the first such company to launch a vertiport certification process.
VPorts has initiated the certification process for its vertiports as part of the world’s first advanced air mobility (AAM) integrator centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH) in Dubai South. Construction of the vertiports will start in 2024.
“We are extremely proud to embark on the certification process for our vertiports in Dubai,” said Dr Fethi Chebil, CEO and founder of VPorts. “We are making history today as we are the first infrastructure company in the world to initiate a vertiport certification process.
“By adhering to the regulations of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), we are taking a proactive approach to ensure all our vertiports meet and exceed industry standards, providing a secure and efficient environment for the operation of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft.”
The certification process, developed by the GCAA, aligns with regulation CAR IX-HVD Part III, which outlines the requirements and guidelines for the certification and operation of onshore vertiports within the UAE. The process will start with the design approval phase; VPorts plans to obtain design approval for the world centre within six months – a key step in the construction phase. The certification of the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) vertiport will follow shortly.
VPorts CEO and founder, Dr Fethi Chebil
With the support of MBRAH, VPorts is planning to establish its vertiport operation control centre (VOCC) as part of the AAM integrator world centre in Dubai. The VOCC will have the capacity to manage air traffic integration and set up communication protocols between eVTOLs, vertiports and air navigation service providers (ANSPs). It will also leverage artificial intelligence to evaluate data related to resource management, ensuring efficient and timely decision-making processes for all eVTOLs landing, taking off from, or flying to any vertiport in an eventual global network of locations.
VPorts’ VOCC encompasses a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) designed to meet GCAA requirements. These SOPs are designed to govern the vertiports’ day-to-day operations. By aligning with the regulatory compliance framework, VPorts ensures that all aspects of its operations, including ground handling, passenger management, maintenance protocols, and emergency procedures, meet the rigorous standards set by the GCAA.
“We believe that operational excellence is the foundation for providing a superior client experience,” said Chebil. “By aligning our VOCC with the GCAA regulatory compliance requirements, we are not only ensuring the highest levels of safety and security but also delivering a seamless and delightful experience for our clients.”
VPorts aims to build and operate 1,500 vertiports around the world by 2045.