The ride-hailing company plans to launch a fleet of aircraft—called Vertical Take-Off and Landing, or VTOL aircraft—with the Dallas-Fort Worth area as the test market for these vehicles.
Hillwood Properties has partnered with Uber to develop three hubs, also known as vertiports, by 2020 for these aircraft. One of the hubs will be located within Frisco Station, a 242-acre mixed-use development under construction near Warren Parkway and the Dallas North Tollway, according to Hillwood Properties.
Initial flight demonstrations are expected to take place in 2020 with a full-scale operations launch by 2023.
To meet those target dates in the next three to five years, Uber has outlined and addressed some of the biggest barriers it needs to overcome in a document outlining its urban air mobility plan. Those barriers include meeting Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, creating vertiport infrastructure, training pilots and developing vehicles that are both safe and efficient.
Uber describes vertiports as “large multi-landing locations that have support facilities (i.e., rechargers, support personnel, etc.) for multiple VTOLs and passengers.” Each vertiport is planned to hold about 12 VTOLs at a time.
“Hillwood is honored to partner with Uber Elevate on this exciting new endeavor,” Hillwood chairman Ross Perot Jr. said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the Uber team to bring this revolutionary transportation option to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the coming years.”