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This new Arlington partnership could let travelers take an air taxi to the entertainment district

Arlington Municipal Airport is five miles south of Arlington in Tarrant County.
Emily Nava
Arlington Municipal Airport could house an air taxi program that would connect passengers to the entertainment district and beyond through a partnership with California-based developer Overair.

Travelers in Arlington could soon take an electric-powered air taxi to the entertainment district through a partnership with a California-based company.

Arlington city government announced a partnership with Overair, a developer of an all-electric vehicle takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, to establish aerial transportation operations at the Arlington Municipal Airport. The program would allow for air transportation between airports, as well as a rideshare program that would get travelers close to places like AT&T Stadium, Globe Life Field and the forthcoming National Medal of Honor Museum.

Overair also announced a partnership with the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to create eVTOL operations across North Texas. However, the partnership with Arlington would make the city the first in Texas to house such a program.

Valerie Manning, Overair chief commercial officer, said the agreement would make Arlington one of the first cities in the world to integrate a fully electric program of the sort into its transportation options.

“Electric advanced air mobility is an example of transportation evolving with the needs of a growing society,” Manning wrote in a statement. “We are incredibly excited to be part of driving this transportation evolution in North Central Texas and to expanding our presence in this region, known for its talent and technology.”

Alicia Winkelblech, Arlington's transportation director, said the city will work with Overair to build a vertiport — the landing and launching area for eVTOL ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Long term, she sees the program as a permanent fixture in the region.

"You'll have not only travel by passenger vehicle, public transit. Now, you'll have an aerial rideshare option as well," Winkelblech said. "I think it will reduce congestion ultimately, improve air quality and provide a fast and convenient option for residents and visitors in the region."

City transportation officials told Arlington City Council members in September the program could launch in 2027 with a 100-vehicle fleet, though the Thursday press release did not include a timeline. Overair will first conduct a feasibility study to assess the demand for the program in Arlington and beyond.

The eVTOL would add another transportation option to a city without buses or trains. Arlington has recently consolidated its rideshare-like programs, including Handitran, Via and the autonomous RAPID pilot program into one system in Arlington On Demand.

"We are hopeful that this integrates in a streamlined, seamless way so riders could use our on-demand service to get to the airport and then jump on an aerial rideshare vehicle and get to where they're going," Winkelblech said. "It could be a really unique, interesting, integrated way to move around the city and region without needing a personal vehicle."

Mayor Jim Ross said in a Thursday press release that the partnership could “shape the future of transportation” for Arlington and the region.

“This partnership with Overair not only advances the City of Arlington as a leader in implementing innovative transportation solutions, it also provides high-tech and engineering jobs to our residents and the community at large; ultimately creating a new mobility ecosystem that will provide socio-economic progress for decades to come,” Ross said.

Overair, based out of Santa Ana, Calif., boasts an eVTOL aircraft known as the Butterfly, which can accommodates five passengers, a pilot and luggage. According to the company website, the vehicle has a 100-mile range, zero emissions, no single-point failures and low noise levels. The Butterfly can also reach speeds over 200 miles per hour. The company itself claims to bring a safe, affordable and convenient new mode of transportation to urban cities and more.

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Kailey Broussard is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). Broussard covers the city of Arlington, with a focus on local and county government accountability.