Archer Aviation Inc. and United Airlines plan to launch the first air taxi route in Chicago, between O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Vertiport Chicago. Vertiport Chicago, North America’s largest vertical aircraft take off and landing facility, is located in the Illinois Medical District near the Chicago Loop. This site was selected as the takeoff and landing site for this airport to city center route because of its convenience, access and service. From there, passengers will be able to travel to and from ORD via Archer’s Midnight aircraft in approximately 10 minutes. A similar trip by car can take upwards of an hour or more during rush hour traffic.
United and Archer’s goal for its UAM network is to provide residents and visitors in the Chicago Metropolitan Area with a safe, sustainable, low noise, and cost-competitive alternative to ground transportation beginning in 2025. Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States, a center for business, innovation and investment, and home to United’s headquarters. This makes it a unique city for Archer and United to build out. The early launch routes will focus in on airport to city center transportation service, which are referred to as “trunk” routes. Once the trunk routes have been established, the next step will be to build out “branch” routes to connect to surrounding communities.
"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."
ComEd, the Midwest’s largest utility company, will work with United and Archer to establish the power infrastructure necessary to support eVTOL aircraft operations in and around the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
"We’re thrilled to add Chicago to our growing list of initial launch cities as we continue to solidify our UAM network plans,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s Founder and CEO. “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.”