Proposals eye network of electric-powered vertical take-off and landing “air taxis”
Foster & Partners has released images of a “vertiport” terminal building designed to accommodate future electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft expected to form part of a high-speed zero-emissions transport network of air taxis in Dubai.
The practice’s proposals were developed in collaboration with advanced air mobility (AAM) firm Skyports Infrastructure. It is working with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority on the creation of the network, which will connect four hubs at first.
Fosters’ proposals for the vertiport at Dubai International Airport place the terminal on an elevated deck to aid take-off and landing for aircraft. The building wraps around the airfield, connecting the arrival and departure lounges and offering views of the aircraft and the city beyond.
The practice’s Dubai Vertiport also features an overhanging roof and façade inclination designed to protect the building from direct sunlight and prevent overheating. The façade is also designed to correspond with an adjacent metro station.
The three other vertiport locations currently under consideration are Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Downtown and Dubai Marina.
David Summerfield, head of studio at Foster & Partners, said the emerging AAM industry would transform the way people travel in Dubai.
“The conceptual vertiport connects with Dubai International Airport and the Dubai Metro, to provide seamless, sustainable travel across the city for international and domestic passengers,” he said.
Fosters said Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had given his backing to the Dubai Vertiport concept design at the World Government Summit 2023, which took place in Dubai in February.
The practice said RTA and Skyports Infrastructure plan to develop the network of vertiports for air taxi services by 2026.