UberAIR trials set to lift off in Australia with government support

Within five years, Melburnians or Sydneysiders could look out of their office windows and see flying ride-sharing vehicles transporting workers between the central business district and regional centres or airports,  because Uber has entered discussions with local and federal governments.

The company first indicated Melbourne and Sydney as possible trial locations for its UberAIR service last year and last week Uber’s global head of aviation, Eric Allison, was in the country meeting with politicians, policymakers and Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) representatives.

Mr Allison told The Australian Financial Review the Victorian government was campaigning hard to be the city of choice.

“We want to go to a place where there is a demand for it and that has the need for it. [The city] has to have enough population density, but also a large geographic area so you end up with … development patterns that lead to congestion,” he said.

“It also needs to have a strong ground-based [Uber] business … and we also look at the weather, the local regulatory environment in terms of skyport permissions, what the electricity grid looks like, local real estate partners and then at the national level the aviation regulatory environment.”