On Thursday, Santa Ana, California-based Overair announced a pair of partnerships to bring a much larger kind of emerging aircraft to the area: electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxis. The manufacturer plans to launch advanced air mobility (AAM) operations out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (KDFW) and Arlington Municipal Airport (KGKY), with plans to expand the services throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.
Overair intends to bring not just eVTOL aircraft but also vertiports, charging stations, and new policies to the region, with an eye toward building a full-fledged AAM ecosystem—one that could last years into the future.
The company signed a memorandum of understanding with DFW Airport that calls on the partners to gauge the development of vertiports and eVTOL aircraft operations across North Texas. The agreement includes a “feasibility assessment” of passenger air taxi operations, which will evaluate regional demand and scenarios for air taxi flights in and out of vertiports.
Overair’s flagship Butterfly aircraft was designed with that use case in mind. The air taxi is capable of flying a pilot and up to five passengers on zero-emission, 100 sm (87 nm) trips at a cruise speed of about 174 knots.
“DFW Airport has a long history of building the groundwork today for the airport needs of the future,” said Paul Puopolo, executive vice president of innovation for the airport. “By exploring the future of aviation now, we will help better position the entire DFW metroplex for the next era of innovative air mobility.”
The agreement will also create a joint working group between the partners, which will dig into the policies and infrastructure required to integrate AAM into the region long term. In addition, it will assess Butterfly’s operational procedures: approach, landing, taxiing, charging, takeoff, departure, safety protocols, and loading and unloading passengers, to name a few.
“[Thursday’s] agreement is a major step toward bringing AAM to one of the world’s largest and fastest growing metropolitan areas,” said Valerie Manning, chief commercial officer of Overair. “We look forward to working closely with DFW to ensure the more than 8 million people living throughout this region, along with the millions of visitors per year, will have easy access to safe, fast, affordable, and eco-friendly travel options.”
Separately, Overair announced a collaboration with Arlington, Texas, which it said is the first direct partnership between a Texas city and an eVTOL manufacturer. Similar to the agreement with DFW Airport, Overair will work with the city to offer air taxi services regionwide, starting with flights out of Arlington Municipal.
Those initial trips are expected to fly passengers in and out of the city’s entertainment district, which is home to a pair of Six Flags amusement parks, a quartet of professional sports teams, and a plethora of restaurants, shopping centers, museums, and event venues.
The agreement calls for Overair to add vertiports and electric aircraft chargers to the region in addition to air taxis. It will also see the company set up a base of operations in North Central Texas, which is expected to bring new jobs to residents.
“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 socioeconomic progress for decades to come,” said Arlington Mayor Jim Ross.
Like the agreement with DFW Airport, the collaboration between Overair and Arlington includes a feasibility study and the formation of a joint working group, which will oversee the project to make sure key milestones are met on schedule.
“[Thursday’s] announcement is a major step toward positioning Arlington as one of the first cities in the world to integrate fully electric AAM capabilities into its transportation ecosystem,” said Manning. “Electric AAM is an example of transportation evolving with the needs of a growing society. We are incredibly excited to help drive this transportation evolution in north central Texas and to expand our presence in this region, known for its talent and technology.”
Laying the Foundation
Overair is targeting service with Butterfly in 2028. As of October, it was working with the FAA on its G-1 Stage 3 means of compliance. But to get to scaled air taxi operations, the right infrastructure will need to be in place.
Currently, the DFW region has one large vertiport—the Dallas Central Business District Vertiport (49T) at Dallas Executive Airport (KRBD). Another site is being developed by Volatus Infrastructure at Greenport International Airport, a “green airport” project under construction outside Austin. Vertiport firm Ferrovial, meanwhile, recently moved its headquarters to the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Irving.
Those projects could give Overair a baseline level of infrastructure, but it will certainly need more to expand AAM services regionwide. Electric charging stations are the other key piece of that puzzle—it’s unclear whether the firm will build those systems itself or if it will partner with a manufacturer like Beta Technologies, which recently sold several chargers to Archer Aviation.
In addition to Thursday’s agreements with the DFW airport and the city of Arlington, Overair has a partnership with helicopter operator Bristow Group, based a few hundred miles south in Houston. Bristow placed a preorder for 20 to 50 Butterflys and plans to fly the eVTOL on commercial air taxi routes in its service areas, which include several cities in and around Texas.
Farther to the west, Overair and several other eVTOL manufacturers are working with Urban Movement Labs, a Los Angeles government-community transportation partnership. It plans to launch in the city in the future and will highlight Butterfly during the city’s 2028 Olympic Games, alongside other players.
More recently, the manufacturer agreed to deliver 20 aircraft to South Korean helicopter transportation provider HeliKorea. It also plans to launch services on Jeju, the country’s largest island and a major tourist destination.