Bay Area not hailing super small skycabs just yet

Several of the new super-small jets have been ordered by private parties around the Bay Area, but no one has yet discussed using them for commercial taxi services, representatives of several Bay Area airports told The Examiner.

Only one plane-maker, Eclipse Aviation Corp. of Albuquerque, has received even provisional certification to make the mini-jets, whose interiors are the size of SUVs or minivans. Industry observers have speculated they could be used for sky taxis, traveling from airport to airport carting short-reservation passengers who paid the price of a first-class airline ticket. The passengers would receive two major advantages over normal first-class travel: they could bypass plane changes at hubs and go direct to the nation’s many small airports, and they would bypass airport security.

“We’re expecting five on the field,” said Christopher St. Peter, the San Carlos Airport’s business manager. “I know several people … have orders for them. We’re very excited about it.”

The mini-jets visited San Carlos airport in December and impressed St. Peter with their quietness, he said. He does not expect them to significantly increase airport traffic, however.

Two San Francisco International Airport duty managers said they were not aware of any orders for the planes or plans to use SFO as a taxi startup location. Gregg Rorabaugh, a VP at aircraft management services firm KaiserAir Inc. at the Oakland International Airport, said he is also unaware of any of the little jets coming to Oakland. He said he suspects they will be phenomenon in the Northeast first.

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