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Blade to bring urban air mobility to NBAA in Las Vegas

Blade Urban Air Mobility will provide a sample of on-demand air transportation to attendees at next week’s NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas, Nevada, where several eVTOL developers will also be making an appearance. 

Blade Maverick NBAA
Blade is partnering with Maverick Helicopters for its NBAA-BACE service. The helicopter seat-booking platform anticipates transitioning to eVTOL aircraft as they become available in the future. Anthony Pecchi Photo

Working with Maverick Helicopters, Blade will be offering by-the-seat helicopter flights between the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and Henderson Airport, the site of the NBAA-BACE aircraft display. Each flight will seat up to six passengers, who will skip traffic while enjoying aerial views of the Las Vegas Strip. 

“There’s a lot of excitement in the business aviation community about the potential for safe, fast, on-demand vertical air transport over congested urban traffic,” NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen stated in a press release. “Through our partnership with Blade, those attending NBAA-BACE will have an important opportunity to experience urban air mobility today.” 

Flights will operate continuously during show hours from Oct. 12-14, with NBAA-BACE attendees able to book their flight through the Blade mobile app at discounted rates. Blade will also have passenger lounges in the North Lobby of the LVCC West Hall and on the aircraft display ramp at Henderson. 

Meanwhile, the show will have several presentations focused on advanced air mobility (AAM), including an Oct. 13 panel discussion moderated by former FAA administrator Michael Huerta. Panelists will share a federal perspective on integrating AAM into U.S. airspace and include Steven Clarke, deputy associate administrator of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate; Col. Nathan P. Diller, director of the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX; and Christopher J. Rocheleau, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) acting associate administrator for aviation safety. 

Anticipated topics include the challenges and opportunities posed by integrating novel eVTOL aircraft into the current aviation system, and how the FAA, Air Force, and NASA are working together to provide solutions. 

Multiple eVTOL aircraft and concepts are expected to be on display at NBAA-BACE, from exhibitors including Bell, Jaunt Air Mobility, Kitty Hawk, Overair, and XTI Aircraft. Honeywell will also be showing off its newly unveiled Anthem flight deck, which has already been selected by Lilium and Vertical Aerospace for their respective eVTOL aircraft. 

Additionally, Dr. Martine Rothblatt, a driving force behind multiple AAM companies including Beta Technologies, will be a day one keynote speaker and presented with the Meritorious Service to Aviation Award for her trailbazing work in aviation, NBAA said. 

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