P3 planning autonomous air taxis for Texas city

March 1, 2024

The city of Sugar Land, Texas, and Wisk Aero, an advanced air mobility (AAM) manufacturer, have formed a private-public partnership (P3) to develop vertiport infrastructure for electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) operations. The partnership is part of a plan to establish a larger AAM network in the city.

Under the P3 agreement, Wisk Aero will be an adviser for the technical operations, including infrastructure and possible site expansion, while Sugar Land will gauge community impact and establish operational policies. Wisk is currently developing an autonomous “Generation 6” aircraft that can accommodate up to four passengers and fly continuously for 90 minutes.

“The Greater Houston area is experiencing some of the highest population growth in the country, which calls for new and efficient ways to move across the region,” Wisk CEO Bryan Yutko said in a statement. “Sugar Land’s strategic location within the Greater Houston region, and its forward-thinking city leadership, make it an ideal partner for us and one that is uniquely positioned as an early leader in the launch of air taxi services.” 

In the early stages of collaboration, the partners will evaluate a site at Sugar Land Regional Airport (SGR) to start working on a vertiport that can support eVTOLs, including maintenance and training facilities. SGR has helped manage overcrowding at Houston’s two international airports and is an ideal location to eventually develop air routes that connect the greater Houston area.

Sugar Land is just one of the Texas cities making strides in AAM. Both Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and the city of Arlington, Texas, have entered into agreements with Overair, the developer of an eVTOL that is on the path to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval.

The rising innovations in AAM like Wisk’s Generation 6 Air Taxi and Overair’s Butterfly are contributing to the FAA’s Innovate28 initiative to safely integrate AAM in multiple locations by 2028.

All news and information on this site is provided by the team at Strategic Partnerships, Inc. Check out this short 1-minute video that provides a quick overview of how we work with clients.

Photo credit: Wisk Aero LLC

Gracie Warhurst

Gracie Warhurst has joined Strategic Partnerships, Inc. as a writer and digital content creator for the new Government Market News portal. With a rich background in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, Warhurst has experience as editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, assistant web editor, and project manager for an AI journalism project. She also contributed as a reporter during the development of SPI's news portal. Warhurst graduated summa cum laude in December 2023 with a Bachelor's in Journalism and a certificate in creative writing, making her a valuable asset to the SPI team.

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