Uber trips to and from the airport account for a significant number of rides. Uber doesn’t disclose the exact amount, but Uber Elevate Infrastructure Business Development Lead Chad Cashin told TechCrunch that’s why Uber is already working with Signature Flight Support to ensure it has a place to land the electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles at airports.
Signature Flight Support operates a network of private aviation terminals, as well as provides services for flights. It’s done this for 35 years. Uber says that by partnering with Signature, it will have an easy way into big airports like SFO, LAX, DFW and hundreds of other airports all over the world.
“If you think about why Signature is important to Uber, aside from the fact that so many traditional Uber trips start and end at an airport — they don’t release the number, but it’s a heavy amount of trips that are airport associated,” Cashin said. “So we look at skyports from a demand perspective, and heavy demand will and forever be at airports. So if you look at Signature’s infrastructure footprint, they have over 200 locations worldwide.”
The experience is also designed to be efficient. In fact, Signature Flight Support Chief Commercial Officer Shawn Hall told TechCrunch that’s one of the biggest value propositions.
“The biggest value proposition of private aviation flying around in a jet, or anything else, is really the efficiency,” Hall said. “It’s not the high-end experience, it’s the efficiency. And just to give you a sense for that, our passengers will literally show up minutes before they take off.”
Unsurprisingly, Uber Copter will be able to transport people from helipads to JFK thanks to its partnership with Signature. When Uber Air deploys in its first cities in 2023, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth and Melbourne, it will have five to seven skyports in each city, plus an airport.