Archer Aviation, United Airlines Establishing Air Taxi Route in Chicago
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby
Today, Archer Aviation and United Airlines announced plans to launch Chicago’s first air taxi route. The route will be situated between O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Vertiport Chicago, the largest vertical aircraft take off and landing facility in the nation. This location was chosen as a result of the convenience, access and service it offers. Passengers will be able to travel to and from ORD using Archer’s Midnight aircraft in around 10 minutes, a trip that can take over an hour by car.
The two companies intend for their UAM network to provide Chicago residents and visitors with a safe, renewable, quiet, and cost-competitive alternative to ground transportation starting in 2025. As the country’s third most populous city, Chicago is a unique location for Archer and United to build out. Early launch routes will be focused on airport to city center transportation service, known as “trunk” routes. Once the trunk routes have been established, “branch” routes will be built to connect to surrounding communities.
“Both Archer and United are committed to decarbonizing air travel and leveraging innovative technologies to deliver on the promise of the electrification of the aviation industry,” said United Airlines Ventures President Michael Leskinen. “Once operational, we’re excited to offer our customers a more sustainable, convenient and cost-effective mode of transportation during their commutes to the airport.”
“Technological innovation thrives here in Chicago, and this venture between Archer and United is yet another example of this strength,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “This exciting new technology will further decarbonize our means of transportation, taking us another step forward in our fight against climate change. I’m pleased that Chicago residents will be among the first in the nation to experience this innovative, convenient form of travel.”
“Here in Illinois, we are taking bold steps to lead the clean revolution—paving the way for a more sustainable future for our state, our nation, and our world,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I can’t think of a better team than Archer and United to partner with as we work to ensure our existing aviation infrastructure can support this new and exciting form of transportation. This partnership is just another way that we will achieve our goal of transitioning to 100% clean energy by 2050—all while saving Illinoisans money and creating thousands of good paying jobs in the process.”
“We’re thrilled to add Chicago to our growing list of initial launch cities as we continue to solidify our UAM network plans,” said Archer Founder and CEO Adam Goldstein. “We’re looking forward to working with state and city leaders to bring an innovative transportation solution to the City of Chicago and its surrounding communities.”
“Vertiport Chicago is delighted to participate alongside United Airlines and Archer in revolutionizing intra-city travel in Chicago,” said Vertiport Chicago Vertiport Chicago Daniel Mojica. “This partnership will inspire other cities to plan for cutting-edge transportation solutions.”
Utility company ComEd will collaborate with United and Archer to develop the necessary power infrastructure to enable eVTOL flights in and around the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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