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Wisk Aero and Houston Airports partner to bring autonomous air taxis to  Greater Houston Region

Wisk Aero Press Release | June 17, 2024

Estimated reading time 5 minutes, 2 seconds.

Wisk Aero, an advanced air mobility (AAM) company, and Houston Airports, have established a memorandum of understanding to bring autonomous air taxis to Greater Houston.

The agreement supports the strategic planning efforts needed to bring a new form of air transportation to an important region within Texas.

As part of this collaboration, Wisk will partner with Houston Airports to identify and assess potential locations for the development of vertiport infrastructure at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), and Ellington Airport (EFD).

Wisk’s sixth-generation aircraft takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter before transitioning to forward flight. They are fully electric, don’t have combustion engines, and are significantly less noisy than helicopters.

These aircraft are being built to meet or exceed commercial aviation levels of safety, the highest possible aviation standard. While Wisk’s Generation 6 aircraft is autonomous, a human supervisor on the ground oversees every flight.

“During my time in the Texas senate, I voted for legislation supporting advanced air mobility. This public-private partnership marks a significant step forward for the City of Houston as we invest in innovative and sustainable modes of air transportation,” said Houston Mayor John Whitmire. “The collaboration underscores our commitment to pioneer advancements that will shape the future of urban mobility.”

Over the next 12 months, Houston Airports and Wisk will work together to develop infrastructure, routes, and partner with the community, while continuing conversations with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Earlier this year Wisk entered into a partnership with the City of Sugar Land to bring autonomous air taxis to the Greater Houston Region.

“Our partnership with Houston Airports solidifies Wisk’s commitment to creating new and efficient ways to travel within the Greater Houston area, and furthers our relationship with infrastructure and regulatory partners in the region. Texas is quickly becoming a leader not only in AAM, but in ushering in safe, autonomous flight here in the United States,” said Brian Yutko, CEO at Wisk.

“Connecting suburbs to Houston’s airports, business centers and prime tourist destinations through autonomous, sustainable air travel will create a new form of urban mobility and have tremendous economic and workforce impacts, supporting the growth of the Houston region.”

Houston Airports and Wisk will engage in projects to advance the overarching goal of the partnership:

  • Houston Airports will focus on integrating AAM into its long-term plans, championing community engagement, and establishing operational policy, such as infrastructure permitting and noise levels.
  • Wisk will provide expertise on technical needs for autonomous eVTOL operations, including infrastructure, training, ground operational procedures, and plans for potential site expansion.
  • Together, the two organizations will explore incorporating maintenance and training facilities in Houston

“Houston is at the forefront of aviation and aerospace innovation, so it’s only fitting that Houston Airports take the first steps to explore the next generation of air transportation,” said Jim Szczesniak, director of aviation for Houston Airports.

“Our partnership with Wisk represents a bold step towards revolutionizing air mobility not just within our city, but across the entire Greater Houston region. As a hub of business and progress, Houston is the ideal starting point for advancements in autonomous air travel, as the ideas, infrastructure and innovation stand to benefit residents, tourists and the business community. This collaboration with Wisk aligns with our vision to create a 5-Star global air service gateway where the magic of flight is celebrated.”

This press release was prepared and distributed by Wisk Aero.

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