Japan-based manufacturer of eVTOL [electric vertical take-off and landing] vehicles SkyDrive, and Canada-headquartered VPorts and Air Traffic Management, which designs, builds and operates Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) infrastructure, have signed an initial set of agreements for business and technical collaboration to leverage the world’s first AAM Integrator World Centre in Dubai.

SkyDrive said in a statement that it is considering using the AAM Integrator World Centre as part of its infrastructure to promote the continual growth of the international AAM industry and accelerate the certification of its eVTOL aircraft.

SkyDrive succeeded in the first crewed flight test in Japan in 2019 and its eVTOL, SD-05, is in the process of acquiring its Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) certification.

The statement said VPorts signed a strategic agreement with Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH) late last year to establish a state-of-the-art AAM centre on a 37,000-square-metre site in Dubai South. With the support of MBRAH and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), VPorts will establish its Vertiport Operation Control Centre (VOCC) hub as part of the AAM integrator world centre in Dubai.

Tomohiro Fukuzawa, CEO of SkyDrive said the collaboration with VPorts will help the company secure an air traffic corridor for test its eVTOL capabilities to ensure their safety before deployment in the urban areas.

“SkyDrive recognises that UAE is one of the most important markets and it is highly encouraging to be part of this strategic project which will promote AAM in the UAE, whole GCC region and leading the global market by working together within Dubai South and the GCAA,” he said.

Fethi Chebil, CEO and Founder of VPorts, said: “We welcome SkyDrive to join us in shaping the future of the AAM sector by leveraging the world’s first integrator centre, including its facilities and airspace. Our presence in Dubai is in line with our strategy and ambition to build and operate 1,500 vertiports around the world by 2045.”

(Writing by Anoop Menon; Editing by Bhaskar Raj)