High flying

Dubai plans for flying taxi network by 2026

Render of Skyports' vertiport near Dubai International Airport, the first of four vertiports to be built in Dubai.

A rendering of Skyports' vertiport near Dubai International Airport, the first of four vertiports to be built in Dubai. (Skyports)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Dubai has taken another step toward launching flying taxis amid growing gridlock on the emirate’s roads.

Key stakeholders in the project – Dubai and federal regulators, U.S. aircraft company Joby Aviation and UK company Skyports Infrastructure – signed an agreement ahead of the World Governments Summit in Dubai on Sunday to get Joby’s aircraft into service by 2026.

A spokesperson for Skyports told The Circuit the four planned takeoff locations – near Dubai International Airport, the Downtown area, Dubai Marina, and Palm Jumeirah – would cost around $10 million each to construct.

Skyports will foot the bill and generate revenue by charging Joby takeoff and landing fees. A typical journey from DXB to Palm Jumeirah is expected to take 10 minutes by air taxi compared with 45 minutes by car.

The Joby Aviation S4 is designed to accommodate four passengers plus a pilot and is clearing regulatory hurdles to be certified for commercial flight.

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