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Pilot training to commence for Abu Dhabi's air taxis

Pilot training to commence for Abu Dhabi's air taxis
20 May 2024 23:28

ALLAN JACOB (ABU DHABI)

Pilots will be trained to fly Abu Dhabi's electric air taxis that will take to the skies by next year, under an agreement signed between Etihad Training and Archer Aviation.

Abu Dhabi aims to commence electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) taxi operations by 2025, and vertiports for these aircraft are being built in the city and across the UAE.

The selection process for pilot candidates for this urban aircraft is also set to begin, according to officials.

Under the deal, Etihad Training will train pilot candidates on a Midnight aircraft flight simulator provided by Archer.

The two sides signed the agreement at the Future Aviation Forum held in Riyadh on Monday.

The simulator will be used for the research and development of pilot training competencies to support the required regulatory certifications.

Etihad Training's local guidance and expertise will come in handy as they further engage with the regulator - the General Civil Aviation Authority of the UAE - to set pilot training rules for the safe and efficient operations of these urban aircraft.

"As Etihad Training's first eVTOL partner, we will commence a thoughtful recruiting process and begin to train the first class of qualified pilots to operate Archer's Midnight aircraft for commercial operations within the region," said Nikhil Goel, Archer's Chief Commercial Officer.

He said that training the first batch of pilots to operate these electric aircraft is a "critically important part of the company's efforts to establish a thriving urban air mobility network in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE."

Speaking on the development, Etihad Training's CEO, Captain Paolo La Cava, said: "We couldn't be more excited to choose Archer as our first eVTOL partner to recruit and train the first class of electric air taxi pilots to fly Archer's Midnight aircraft right here in Abu Dhabi as soon as 2025. We look forward to installing the Archer Midnight flight simulator in our facilities later this year."

Air taxis in Abu Dhabi are expected to reduce urban travel times, reducing car commutes of 60-90 minutes to just 10-20-minute flights, according to Archer, who signed signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi Investment Office in April to speed up eVTOL operations in the UAE.

The Midnight aircraft used for these air taxi services will be also be built in the UAE, and are expected to make Abu Dhabi a global leader and pioneer in air taxi operations.

Abu Dhabi will host the company's engineering and manufacturing facilities within the Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) cluster. SAVI has facilities to develop futuristic land, air and sea vehicles.

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