Signature Flight Support took the stage at the Uber Elevate summit and announced a nationwide partnership with Uber Elevate, facilitating ground based operations and skyport infrastructure for Uber Air. Signature Flight Support is Uber Elevate’s first nationwide operations and on-airport infrastructure partner. Signature will also be the ground-based operator of choice for Uber Copter services, which offers the first real demonstration of the Elevate experience.
Uber plans to operate a network of electric air taxis in cities worldwide to enable four-person shared flights in densely populated urban markets. These electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs) differ from helicopters in that aim to be orders of magnitude quieter, safer, more affordable, and more environmentally-friendly.
“Signature Flight Support’s operational prowess and industry leading understanding of the private aviation space makes them an ideal fit for Uber Elevate’s business,” said Eric Allison, Head of Uber Elevate. “Efficient and safe skyports are a critical component of our business model, and our future collaboration with Signature will allow for a seamless rider experience from the moment they arrive at a Skyport, to the moment they depart.”
Signature is the world leader in ground based private aviation services known as Fixed Based Operations (FBOs), with over 200 locations across the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Signature has been committed to aviation safety and perfecting the customer experience for over 25 years.
“We’re thrilled to join forces with Uber on this groundbreaking initiative that will be a first of its kind in our industry,” said Mark Johnstone, group chief executive officer, Signature Flight Support. “This is a powerful partnership that will leverage Signature Flight Support’s industry leading scale, distribution and aviation expertise and marry it with the innovative services and technology leadership of Uber to forge a bold new vision for the future of transportation.”
“Signature Flight Support is on a mission to define and deliver NextGen Aviation services and experiences for all of our customers and partners,” said Shawn Hall, chief commercial officer, Signature Flight Support. “Our collaboration with Uber is just one example of our new, expanded approach to providing seamless end-to-end travel experiences in compelling, disruptive and innovative ways.”
As an FBO operator for Uber Elevate, Signature intends to apply its industry leading expertise to support skyport infrastructure and operations serving eVTOL passenger pickups and dropoffs at their on-airport locations, as well as designated purpose-built eVTOL urban skyports. In the nearterm, Uber and Signature will co-develop industry leading practices around safety and customer experience for Urban Air Mobility.
About Uber Elevate
Uber has a goal of conducting flight demonstrations in 2020 and make aerial ridesharing commercially available to riders in 2023, with it’s first Uber Air cities being Dallas-Fort Worth/Frisco Texas and L.A. Uber entered into partnerships with several highly experienced aircraft manufacturers including:
Aurora Flight Sciences (now a subsidiary of Boeing), Pipistrel Aircraft, Embraer, Bell and Karem Aircraft. Uber has also entered into a real estate partnership with Hillwood Properties. Uber has signed two Space Act Agreements with NASA, one for the development of new Unmanned Traffic Management concepts and Unmanned Aerial Systems and a second to explore new concepts and technologies for Urban Air Mobility. Uber has also signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Army Research Lab to assist in the vehicle development and testing for Uber Air. This includes an initial joint work statement to provide joint funding of $1 million for research development of rotor technology.