Air Taxi Marketplace EZ Aerospace Earns $1.25M Air Force Contract

The AFWERX SBIR Direct-to-Phase II agreement will develop tools to enable on-demand air taxis for the Air Force.

EZ Aerospace Air Force air taxi

One of EZ Aerospace’s goals is to introduce more airmen to emerging aircraft. [Courtesy: Pixabay/Pexels]

A marketplace for air taxi services continues to earn the support of the U.S. government.

On Tuesday, on-demand air taxi provider EZ Aerospace announced it was selected by AFWERX, the innovation arm of the Air Force, for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Direct-to-Phase II contract worth $1.25 million. Typically, a company would need to complete SBIR Phase I research before moving to Phase II, which generally offers more lucrative grants. But the contract will allow EZ Aerospace to skip a step.

The agreement piggybacks off the firm’s previous AFWERX SBIR contract, which explored the feasibility of using on-demand air taxis to carry airmen and cargo to, from, and between Air Force bases.

The new contract, meanwhile, will focus on developing tools that enable on-demand air taxis to address “the most pressing challenges” facing the Air Force.

“This contract marks a big milestone for the concept of advanced on-demand airlift,” said Matt Zacharias, founder of EZ Aerospace. “We’ve dedicated two years to understanding the unique needs of the Air Force and tailoring our solution accordingly. Now, we are poised to make significant strides towards the future of air mobility for everyone.”

EZ Aerospace was founded just three years ago, with the goal of enhancing advanced air mobility (AAM) for government and commercial customers by offering access to dual-use air taxis via a marketplace. The company operates conventional aircraft as well as the next generation of flying cars, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) systems, and more.

Zacharias and Co. hope to reinvent the current on-demand AAM market by reducing costs and fostering competition. They also aim to spread aircraft across the country to decentralize passenger travel and connect air bases. In fact, a core business objective is to help introduce the military to emerging aircraft. Already, it has identified 1,000 aircraft the Air Force could better utilize for more efficient domestic movements.

EZ Aerospace relies on a network of existing on-demand charter air carriers, organic and auxiliary airlift services, and scheduled airlines to provide service. With the added competition that comes from squeezing these providers into a single marketplace, the company expects to reduce costs for the Air Force and other customers.

“Airmen belong in the air,” Zacharias said. “We can better utilize what’s available to airmen today, and that’s our focus. The Air Force has a great legacy of nurturing new ideas to get the job done. That’s how we got the best air travel system in the world, and it’s how we’ll get to what’s next.”

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Jack is a staff writer covering advanced air mobility, including everything from drones to unmanned aircraft systems to space travel—and a whole lot more. He spent close to two years reporting on drone delivery for FreightWaves, covering the biggest news and developments in the space and connecting with industry executives and experts. Jack is also a basketball aficionado, a frequent traveler and a lover of all things logistics.

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