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Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi manufacturer Archer Aviation is bringing its on-demand aerial rideshare service to the San Francisco Bay Area. The company intends to build a network connecting the California cities of South San Francisco, Napa, San Jose, Oakland, and Livermore, replacing one-to-two-hour trips by car with zero-emission, 10-to-20-minute air taxi flights.

Archer’s flagship design, Midnight, is built for a pilot to fly as many as four passengers on 20 to 50 sm (17 to 43 nm) routes, cruising at 130 knots and charging for just a few minutes between trips. The manufacturer’s goal is to compete against ground-based ridehailing services such as Uber or Lyft with a comparably priced offering.

In the Bay Area, the company will work with real estate giant Kilroy Realty Corp. The partners signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to make the 50-acre Kilroy Oyster Point waterfront campus in South San Francisco the anchor of Archer’s planned network.

Archer and Kilroy will look to build a vertiport at Oyster Point, connecting it with routes to Napa, San Jose, Oakland, and Livermore.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Kilroy on developing infrastructure to support Archer’s air mobility service and laying the foundation for a robust network of landing sites throughout the Bay Area,” said Bryan Bernhard, chief growth and infrastructure officer for Archer.

The manufacturer says it already has relationships with infrastructure and operations providers in those cities. One of its two main FBO partners, Atlantic Aviation, has hubs in Napa and San Jose. The other, Signature Aviation—which earlier this week agreed to install Archer electric aircraft chargers at 200 of its locations—also has a site in San Jose and another in Oakland.

Interestingly, Livermore Municipal Airport (KLVK), that city’s sole airfield, has no scheduled airline service and is designated as a regional reliever airport. Five Rivers Aviation, which operates a full-service FBO at the airport, appears to be Archer’s partner there.

A graphic lists potential Midnight routes in the San Francisco Bay Area, with simulated flight times. FBO provider Five Rivers Aviation appears in small text next to the company’s planned Livermore hub. [Courtesy: Archer Aviation]

San Francisco International Airport (KSFO), meanwhile, is a hub for Archer partner and investor United Airlines. The companies plan to launch routes in Chicago and New York City, also hub airports, by 2025.

In addition to constructing a vertiport at Oyster Point, Archer and Kilroy intend to create what Archer dubs “Sea Portal”—a renewable energy-powered development that offers both eVTOL and electric ferry services for all companies at the waterfront hub. According to the manufacturer, the facility could come online by the end of next year. Looking ahead, the partners will explore expansions to other Kilroy sites.

“We believe that this innovative and sustainable service has the potential to provide exceptional convenience and optionality to current and future tenants at the project, further differentiating Kilroy Oyster Point within the South San Francisco market,” said Angela Aman, CEO of Kilroy.

Archer began building the first Midnight production prototypes, which it will use to complete type certification evaluations with the FAA, in February. The aircraft received its final airworthiness criteria from the FAA in May and completed its first transition from hover to forward flight the following month during a remotely piloted test.

In June, Archer became one of just two eVTOL manufacturers to earn FAA Part 135 air carrier permissions, the other being competitor Joby Aviation.

It expects to install electric charging stations at Atlantic FBO locations in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami by next year, followed by similar infrastructure at as many as 200 Signature FBOs. Newark Liberty International Airport (KEWR) in New Jersey, Chicago O’Hare (KORD) International Airport, and KSFO—the bases of operations for Archer’s New York, Chicago, and Bay Area services—are all part of Signature’s network.

The company also intends to add electric chargers to planned air taxi hubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, which is shaping up to be its initial overseas launch market.

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The post Archer, Kilroy Building Electric Air Taxi Network in Bay Area appeared first on FLYING Magazine.

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