Flying taxi company Supernal opens sleek new DC headquarters

Flying taxi company Supernal opens sleek new D.C. headquarters. (Supernal)
Flying taxi company Supernal opens sleek new D.C. headquarters. (Supernal)
Flying taxi company Supernal opens sleek new D.C. headquarters. (Supernal)
Supernal says it is, potentially, just a few years away from commercially launching its short distance flying taxi business. (Supernal)

Washington, D.C.-based Supernal, which is developing electric vertical takeoff and landing “flying taxis,” has moved from a temporary headquarters to a new location to help it facilitate the regulatory process.

Supernal said it is, potentially, just a few years away from commercially launching its short-distance flying taxi business as a part of the emerging field of Advanced Air Mobility.

Supernal’s new policy and commercial hub, located at 1101 6th St., Northwest, houses 60 employees. The company plans to hire an additional 20 employees for its D.C. office this year.

The 28,000-square-foot office covers three floors and includes a 5,000-square-foot innovation center.

Supernal is owned by the Hyundai Motor Group. It has development and manufacturing partnerships with dozens of companies, including Microsoft, BAE Systems and Honeywell. The company is developing both an eVTOL craft (electric vertical takeoff and landing) and a ground-based system that will support its short-range taxi flights, which, depending on development and a slew of regulatory approvals, could go into service as early as 2028.

Supernal’s new D.C. office will house the company’s policy, legal, compliance and communications team. The D.C. location will also put the company in proximity to policymakers and regulators.

While Supernal is targeting a five-year timeline to market, it plans to start small at launch.

“We expect the air taxis to travel approximately 25 to 30 miles in the first few years of the industry. The speed and the range will improve as the technology matures. The first routes will likely be to and from airports,” Supernal’s Head of Facilities Niraj Nath said.

Beating the Beltway traffic may be possible, but the D.C. market presents additional challenges.

“We’re targeting L.A., Miami and Seoul as launch markets. In D.C., there are three airports in the region. It is an interesting market, but the air space here is uniquely complex. Initially, it would be trips to and from Dulles Airport,” Nath said.

The new D.C. headquarters is part of a large expansion for the company. Last month it opened an engineering headquarters in Irvine, California, and will soon open its primary research and development facility in Fremont, California.

“The (DC) office design not only reflects our business identity and values but also prioritizes employee wellness through dedicated spaces for relaxation, mediation and rejuvenation. We believe that by providing a holistic work environment, we enable our employees to unleash their full potential,” said Jaiwon Shin, president of Hyundai Motor Group and CEO of Supernal.

The new D.C. office’s amenities include a cafe with kombucha on tap, daily lunches and an on-site arboretum. Its conference rooms are named after famous aviators.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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