Uber has attracted dozens of speakers from the aviation industry, government and technology sectors to a large summit on “urban air transportation” in Dallas this week. The Uber Elevate Summit kicks off Tuesday and features speeches and panel discussions on the promise and problems of having fleets of electric VTOL aircraft buzzing around major cities. “The Summit will offer an information-packed three days during which we hope to build awareness about the Elevate mission, detail Uber’s role in the ecosystem, identify and accelerate opportunities to collaborate within the community, and define a path towards initial urban eVTOL operations,” the company says in its promotional material. In addition to the technological aspects of something Uber seems pretty committed to, the summit looks at regulatory, financial and environmental issues associated with such systems.
As might be expected, there are plenty of tech experts represented, along with a smattering of government and political representatives. But there are also some familiar names in general aviation on the list of speakers like Pete Bunce, the CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, the CEO of Embraer; Ivo Boscarol, founder of Pipistrel; and Trish Gilbert, executive vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. There are at least four speakers from the FAA there, too. The three-day event wraps up Thursday with an open discussion and closing remarks by Uber execs.