In recent years, the concept of urban air mobility has gained traction, and with it, the development of vertiports, which are essentially small airports designed specifically for vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (VTOLs). Vertiports are set to revolutionize urban transportation, and could become the next big transportation hub for several reasons.
Famed architecture firm Foster + Partners has recently unveiled their vision for a Vertiport, a version of an airport terminal, where passengers would wait for and board the aircraft. Located adjacent to the DXB airport in Dubai, the design shows a curving and undulating design, with large windows showing the VTOLs landing and taking off.
In terms of infrastructure, Vertiports are being designed to be more compact and efficient than traditional airports, making them ideal for densely populated urban areas. VTOLs require much less space for takeoff and landing than fixed-wing aircraft, which means that vertiports can be located closer to urban centers, reducing travel time for passengers. The smaller size of vertiports also means that they can be built on top of existing buildings, such as parking garages or shopping centers, further reducing the need for additional space.
The growth of urban air mobility is being driven by advances in technology, such as electric and hybrid-electric propulsion, which are making VTOLs more efficient and environmentally friendly. This makes them an attractive option for city dwellers who are looking for more sustainable modes of transportation. In addition, the vertical takeoff and landing capabilities of VTOLs means that they can bypass traffic congestion, providing a faster and more convenient way to travel in cities.
In urban environments, vertiports could provide a solution to the “last mile” problem, which refers to the challenge of getting people from traditional transportation hubs, such as airports and train stations, to their final destinations. By providing a network of vertiports throughout urban areas, passengers could easily travel from one vertiport to another, allowing them to reach their destination more quickly and efficiently.
The design for the DXB Vertiport in Dubai is still preliminary, but flights of such aircraft are expected to start in 2026, which is just around the corner.
“We are delighted to have developed a vertiport concept for the emerging AAM industry, which will transform the way people travel in Dubai” -Foster + Partners