Archer Aviation and United Airlines today announced plans 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 takeoff 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 unparalleled 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.
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.