Abu Dhabi to build electric airplane factory
Monarch, an Abu Dhabi-based manufacturer, has signed an agreement with Chinese company EHang Holdings to build a factory in the emirate (pictured) to manufacture sustainable, electricity-powered airplanes and drones. The craft will be capable of transporting both passengers and cargo.
The agreement entails more than just manufacturing. The cooperation between the Emirati and Chinese companies will also establish a command-and-control centre to manage urban air mobility, build the infrastructure (including take-off and landing platforms, a.k.a. ‘vertiports’), and train locals to operate the vehicles.
The idea is that the air traffic generated by the planes and drones will be largely autonomous, and managed using artificial intelligence. It is hoped that the project will enhance Abu Dhabi’s position as ‘smartest city’ in the Middle East and North Africa.
Abu Dhabi has recently won that title for the third year running. It was awarded by the International Institute of Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland, in collaboration with the Singapore University of Technology and Design. In the global ranking of 141 cities, Abu Dhabi reached 13th place.