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Archer expected to be flying from Santa Monica Airport by 2025

Archer Aviation has announced a partnership with Atlantic Aviation and together the two companies will begin the development of electric aircraft infrastructure at Atlantic’s existing assets, including Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) reports the Santa Monica Daily Press.

“San Jose-based Archer has been developing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft since 2018 and Texas-based Atlantic is a leading fixed-base operator (FBO) network and aviation services provider. With their combined resources, they aim to establish an air taxi service that utilises existing assets at specific locations. Early launch markets will focus on highly congested cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Miami.

“Initial routes will be “trunk” routes from airport to city centre, as there is known demand and strong willingness to pay. The first of these routes was announced in 2022 in partnership with United Airlines on the East Coast. That will connect United’s hub at Newark Liberty International Airport to the Downtown Manhattan Heliport. Once the primary trunk routes have been established, “branch” routes will be developed to connect to surrounding communities.

“The model of eVTOL aircraft that will be used is what Archer Aviation calls the Midnight. Powered by six independent battery packs, each supporting a pair of electric engines, it’s capable of flying up to 100 miles at speeds of up to 150 mph and optimised for regular 20-50 mile urban trips.

“It’s designed to accommodate a certified pilot and comfortably fit up to four passengers and luggage and typically flies at about 1500 feet. Plus the Midnight can perform back-to-back, 20 mile flights with only 12 minutes of charge time in between.

“Using a trip from Santa Monica to Malibu as an example, Nikhil Goel, Chief Commercial Officer at Archer Aviation says that it’s approximately a 12 mile flight. However, traveling by road, that journey could take anywhere up to and over an hour. Flying by an air taxi, it would take about five minutes in the air and cost each passenger roughly between USD30 and USD40, which is less than what a rideshare vehicle would more than likely cost.”

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(Image: Archer Aviation)

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