Revealed: Uber Air’s Fleet Of 1,000 Helicopters For Melbourne
Ride sharing giant Uber has plans for a helicopter service rolling out in Melbourne as soon as this year in its first Australian trial.
Previously secret documents detailing the global transport company’s ambition for a Melbourne helicopter service can now be revealed after the documents were exposed under freedom of information laws.
The documents outline plans for flights, reaching under 500 metre altitudes and speeds of up to 320kph.
The Victorian Government has said it is committed to helping Uber ‘navigate the regulatory landscape’ and ‘broker federal relationships,’ according to ABC News.
‘Flights will travel at an altitude of ~1,500 ft [457m] with speeds of up to 150-200 miles/hour [241-321 kilometres per hour] and a range of up to 60 miles [96 kilometres],’ a key document reveals.
Uber has previously said their target vehicle noise will be 67 decibels for a ground pedestrian when the helicopter is at an altitude of 75 metres. It amounts to the same level as a busy road or vacuum cleaner.
The document marked as confidential, highly sensitive and not to be distributed also revealed a group of state and federal regulators currently working with Uber to facilitate its rollout. In documents made Invest Victoria also revealed that the helicopters don’t need to follow fixed routes and that buildings tops as well as parking lots can be repurposed to be used as skyports.
It’s not the first time Uber has spoken about Melbourne being a trial city for Uber helicopters and said it would require around 1,000 helicopters and 83 skyports to make it work.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), responsible for licensing pilots and oversees air safety, noted the need for secrecy:
‘Ubers expectation [is]… information would be kept commercially sensitive,’ ABC News reports.
The documents also revealed Uber intends to use a model similar to its car sharing business, where it positions itself as an ‘aggregator’ connecting passengers with aircraft vehicles.