ABU DHABI - The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has officially granted operational approval for the country's inaugural vertiport, which debuts at the DRIFTx event in Abu Dhabi.

This ground-breaking approval marks a significant milestone in the UAE's pursuit of innovative transportation solutions and underscores its commitment to advancing autonomous technologies in the transport industry.

Organised as part of the DRIFTx event, an initiative supported by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and the Emirate's Smart & Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) cluster, the vertiport will serve as a focal point for showcasing the latest advancements in autonomous transportation.

Commenting on the announcement, Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the GCAA, stated, "This achievement demonstrates the GCAA and industry commitment to accelerating advanced air mobility in the UAE. It underscores our proactive approach to publishing supporting national regulations and laying the groundwork for vertiports' safe and efficient integration into our urban infrastructure. This milestone represents a first step towards unlocking the full potential of advanced air mobility and fostering innovation in the transport industry."

Badr Al-Olama, Director-General of ADIO, said, "The GCAA has been instrumental in spearheading the development of standards and guidelines that are shaping the nascent advanced mobility sector. Together we will position Abu Dhabi as the capital for developing smart and autonomous mobility solutions. The UAE's inaugural vertiport marks a significant new milestone for innovative transportation solutions, leveraging the world class infrastructure in Abu Dhabi that will usher in a new era of urban mobility."

This achievement represents a collaborative effort between the GCAA and key stakeholders in the UAE's transportation and technology sectors. Crucially, this milestone would not have been achievable without the foundation laid by the world's first national regulation on vertiports, introduced by the GCAA in March 2023.