25-May-2023 Source: Blade Air Mobility
Blade Air Mobility, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLDE, “Blade” or the “Company”), a technology-powered global air mobility platform, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Newport Helipad LLC (“Newport”) to operate and revitalize the Newport Helistop (91NJ) ( “Helistop”), located in Newport, Jersey City, New Jersey, one of the largest and most successful mixed-use communities on the Hudson River waterfront, subject to the execution of definitive documentation. As part of the agreement, Blade will manage and operate the Helistop on behalf of Newport for both Blade flights and third-party operations. The Helistop is located on the Hudson River waterfront, approximately 3,800 feet from Manhattan.
“All large communities will need an urban air mobility strategy to bolster their attractiveness to corporations and residents alike in an increasingly competitive market,” said Nate Alexander, Blade’s Senior Director, Rotorcraft Operations. “We are pleased that Newport had the foresight to relight this Helistop and partner with Blade to ensure safe and reliable vertical transportation for all tenants and residents in the community.”
This arrangement will create an additional amenity for the businesses and residents of Newport and beyond, as well as Blade’s client base. It will demonstrate the proper processes and working relationships required to safely grow urban air mobility in the greater New York City metropolitan area using conventional aircraft today, while preparing for the deployment of Electric Vertical Aircraft (“EVA”) in the near future.
Under the agreement, Blade will begin a pilot program for charter flights and explore the viability of the first ever scheduled, by-the-seat service between the Helistop and local New York City area airports and heliports, providing a convenient travel option for commuters, particularly for Newport tenants and employees of major banks and corporations that maintain large office presences around the Helistop. A flight from the Helistop to JFK Airport will take approximately 5 minutes versus up to 2 ½ hours by car.
In an effort to mitigate any potential noise impact on the neighboring communities, only helicopter flights for public transportation or emergency services will be permitted at the Helistop. Tourist flights, as well as helicopter operators who violate the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s designated noise abatement routing for tourist flights along the New Jersey and New York City Hudson River corridor, will not be allowed to utilize the Helistop.
The agreement will also provide Blade with the opportunity to construct an exclusive-use, Blade-branded terminal at the Helistop to facilitate safe and efficient operations for Blade flights and provide lounge amenities for Blade fliers.
The Helistop will provide urban air mobility connectivity to Newport, a vibrant live-work-play community with over 7,000 residences, including the award-winning and record-breaking Ellipse, which was honored with the Urban Land Institute’s Northern New Jersey Excellence Award for its thoughtful design and contribution to the community. The neighborhood’s eight state-of-the-art office towers provide more than five million square feet of office space to major employers including JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Fidelity Investments, L’Oreal, Forbes, and Tory Burch, and more than 25,000 employees.
In addition to its easy access to Manhattan, Newport is sought after for its lifestyle amenities, including the sports and wellness offerings at Newport Swim & Fitness, shopping at Newport Centre Mall and The Newport River Market, Newport Green – a 4.25-acre landscaped park with the only urban beach on the Hudson River, Westin and Courtyard by Marriott hotels, Newport Skates outdoor skating rink, and two onsite schools.