Chicago’s Air Travel Hub

United Airlines and Archer have announced plans for commercial eVTOL air taxi between O’Hare airport and Vertiport Chicago. Given Chicago has O’Hare International Airport (ORD) as a major air travel hub, and Vertiport Chicago (which is the largest heliport in the North America), as well as being the location of United’s headquarters, it makes a lot of sense that this city was chosen for United and Archer’s electric air taxi project which is planned to be completed by 2025.

The press release explained:

“Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States, a center for business, innovation and investment, and home to United’s headquarters.”

With a 10 minute eVTOL ride in an Archer Midnight aircraft between O’Hare and Vertiport Chicago (located in the Illinois Medical District), travel time can be dramatically reduced from its typical hour plus duration during rush hour congestion. United and Archer cited the prime location at Vertiport Chicago which gives the capabilities for “unparalleled convenience, access, and service”.

Chicago’s flight into the future

Chicago Mayor Lori E Lightfoot stated: “Technological innovation thrives here in Chicago, and this venture between Archer and United is yet another example of this strength.“ She continued: “This exciting new technology will further decarbonize our means of transportation, taking us another step forward in our fight against climate change. I’m pleased that Chicago residents will be among the first in the nation to experience this innovative, convenient form of travel.”

Commitment to Decarbonization

As noted by the Mayor’s statement on decarbonization, it has become a major theme of this partnership in combating climate change. Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures noted the team’s commitment to decarbonization of the aviation industry:

“Both Archer and United are committed to decarbonizing air travel and leveraging innovative technologies to deliver on the promise of the electrification of the aviation industry,” he said. “Once operational, we’re excited to offer our customers a more sustainable, convenient and cost-effective mode of transportation during their commutes to the airport.”

City and State cooperation

Archer’s Founder and CEO Adam Goldstein spoke of the involvement of city and state leaders in this project:

We’re thrilled to add Chicago to our growing list of initial launch cities as we continue to solidify our UAM network plans,” he said. “We’re looking forward to working with state and city leaders to bring an innovative transportation solution to the City of Chicago and its surrounding communities.

Besides the mayor, the governor of Illinois has been involved. Governor Jay Robert Pritzker stated the state’s commitment to the “clean revolution” and promoting sustainability. He further iterated:

“I can’t think of a better team than Archer and United to partner with as we work to ensure our existing aviation infrastructure can support this new and exciting form of transportation. This partnership is just another way that we will achieve our goal of transitioning to 100% clean energy by 2050—all while saving Illinoisans money and creating thousands of good paying jobs in the process.”


The project has the cooperation of the Midwest’s largest electric utility company ComED, which will work with United and Archer to ensure there is sufficient electrical power infrastructure to meet the demands of the new eVTOL fleet ferrying passengers around the Chicagoland area.

More Info:

Press Release from Archer: click here

PDF version of press release: click here

Vertiport Chicago: click here

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