Archer Aviation has partnered with Signature Aviation, a private terminals operator, to lay the groundwork for a series of air taxi terminals at some of the US’s largest and most important airports. 

Although the agreement is only in an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) phase, it could pave the way for air taxi networks to be built across major US cities within a decade. 

Signature manages more than 200 private terminals at major airports, including hubs like  Newark International (EWR) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD)

It has identified five locations, including EWR and ORD as sites to start the air taxi hub business. These will cover key markets for Archer and the UAM sector, including Texas, New York, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. 

The MoU sets out the first steps to preparing the locations for eVTOL flights, which will focus on the ‘electric’ part of the new aviation nomenclature. 

The firms said they would work with BETA Technologies, another eVTOL developer that has pivoted towards charging technology and the wider UAM ecosystem, to install charging facilities at the Signature’s locations. 

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BETA’s “Charge Cube” can provide 320kW of power at 60Hz and leverages what the manufacturer described as “Combined Charging System” technology. This means the tools are interoperable between electric vehicles and tools often used air side, including “electric aircraft, cars, airplane tugs, buses, and other forms of transportation commonly used at airports,” BETA explained. 

“The interoperable rapid recharging system, recently endorsed by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), has been installed at 20+ airports across the country with 50 new sites in development,” the company’s statement added. 

“This partnership will help us establish a robust network of landing sites across the country to enable the scaling of our air taxi service, ensuring our Midnight aircraft can seamlessly integrate into urban environments and provide a reliable transportation solution for our passengers,” said  Bryan Bernhard, Archer’s chief growth & infrastructure officer.

“By focusing on electrifying key aviation assets in major cities such as New York and Chicago, we are taking essential steps toward making sustainable and efficient air travel a reality,” he added.