Terminal concept for VTOL 'vertiport' in Dubai unveiled

The terminal is proposed near the existing Dubai international airport and will also connect to the Metro services
Ameya Paleja
The Dubai vertiport concept from Foster and Partners
The Dubai vertiport concept from Foster and Partners

Foster and Partners 

The terminal concept for Dubai's first "vertiport" terminal, which will facilitate the movement of passengers using vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles, was recently unveiled. Renowned UK architecture firm Foster+Partners developed the concept for Skyports Infrastructure, the advanced air mobility company looking to begin air taxi services in the region by 2026.

Dubai has been ambitious with its plans for flying taxi services for quite some time now. In 2017, the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that it would start a driverless passenger drone service in collaboration with a Chinese company, Ehang. CNN reported.

Over the years, multiple VTOL companies across the globe have held public demonstrations of their technologies in the city, prompting the need for an exclusive terminal for future operations, commonly referred to as a "vertiport".

What does Dubai's vertiport look like?

Interesting Engineering has previously reported how the rising popularity of VTOL companies has also led to a rise in companies who want to build vertiports. VTOL makers like Lilium are looking to design and build vertiports to scale up the infrastructure needed to make the idea feasible.

On the other hand, Dubai wants to bring aesthetics and functionality into its vertiports and commissioned architecture firm Foster + Partners to do the job. The design puts the terminal on an elevated deck to facilitate the landing and take-off functions that are crucial to the operation.

With the airfield at the center, the vertiport terminal building encircles this space. The arrival and departure lounges give passengers wide views of the flying vehicles and the city skyline further beyond.

Terminal concept for VTOL 'vertiport' in Dubai unveiled
The terminal concept for Dubai vertiport

The design incorporates an overhanging roof which, apart from being part of the facade, also provides additional protection from the sunlight and prevents excessive heating of the passenger facilities. The design is intentionally reminiscent of the Dubai Metro Station at the airport to help it blend in with the existing infrastructure.

The Dubai RTA and Skyports Infrastructure are considering four vertiport construction sites. The site near Dubai International Airport and Metro Station is one of the prime locations under consideration.

The architecture firm has chosen a warm palette of colors and natural materials for the interiors to create a calm and welcoming environment.

“We are delighted to have developed a vertiport concept for the emerging AAM industry, which will transform the way people travel in Dubai," said David Summerfield, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners. "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.”

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