Electric Air Taxi Manufacturer Archer Aviation Opens D.C. Office

With a new headquarters and growing policy, government, and regulatory affairs team, Archer is stepping up its presence on Capitol Hill.

Archer eVTOL air taxi

Archer’s flagship Midnight air taxi will be on display at its Washington, D.C., office. [Courtesy: Archer Aviation]

Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi manufacturer Archer Aviation is stepping up its presence on Capitol Hill.

The company on Thursday announced the opening of a new Washington, D.C., office and added two new members to its policy, government, and regulatory affairs leadership team. The office, near the FAA and Department of Transportation (DOT) headquarters, will include a display area where Archer will showcase Midnight, its flagship, four-passenger aircraft.

In addition, Billy Nolen, who stepped down as acting FAA administrator to join Archer as its chief safety officer in June, will transition into a role as chief regulatory affairs officer, where he will lead the company’s regulatory affairs team.

“This strategic move is part of our proactive approach to progressing through the regulatory process here in the U.S. as efficiently as possible so that we can help ensure our country continues to define the future of global aviation,” said Nolen. “Showcasing our leading eVTOL aircraft technologies to leaders in the nation’s capital will help bring to life our vision to transform cities by reducing traffic with safe, quiet electric air taxis.”

Archer’s eVTOL air taxi is designed for a pilot to fly as many as four passengers on 10- to 20-minute trips spanning 20 to 50 sm (17 to 43 nm), with as little as 10 to 12 minutes of charge time between them.

In February, the company began building the first of three Midnight aircraft it will use to perform for-credit testing with the FAA as it progresses toward type certification. It expects those evaluations to happen later this year.

Archer is working with U.S. regulators such as the FAA as well as United Airlines to launch service in several major U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as early as next year. To support that effort, the company brought on two new hires: Melissa McCaffrey as head of state and local government affairs and Lynda Tran as an advisor.

McCaffrey, a licensed pilot of 20 years, is the former director of policy and government affairs at Overair, another California-based eVTOL air taxi manufacturer. McCaffrey spent a decade with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), where she managed government affairs policy and advocacy.

Tran was formerly the senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and director of public engagement at the DOT. She will support Archer’s regulatory affairs in an advisory role.

Additionally, Archer said it will continue to work with Invariant, the largest woman-owned lobbying group in Washington, D.C., and JTR Strategies, which focuses on transportation policy lobbying, as it seeks to expand its influence in the nation’s capital.

Archer, alongside competitor Joby Aviation, already had one of the tightest government relationships in the eVTOL industry by virtue of its FAA certification program and the appointment of Nolen. By bringing on McCaffrey and Tran, it appears the manufacturer is looking to shore up that connection even further.

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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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