The first hub location for a high-speed, electric air mobility network in America will be launched by 2025 in Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida. Lilium, the Munich, Germany-based aviation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet aircraft, Tavistock Development Company and the City of Orlando have announced the country’s first urban and regional air mobility network as well as Lilium’s first US network location.
Subject to regulatory approvals including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and other regulatory agencies, Lake Nona’s central location would provide the opportunity to connect more than 20 million Floridians within a 186-mile radius, serving several major cities including Orlando and Tampa. The Lake Nona vertiport will create more than 100 jobs in the Orlando area, with hundreds more to follow across Florida.
The Florida network forms part of Lilium’s vision of bringing regional air mobility to locations across the globe. The Lilium jet aircraft can travel further and faster with distances of up to 186 miles (300km) within one hour on a single charge, enabling the connection of entire regions, creating significant economic impact for cities and their residents as well as increased access to industry, culture and nature.
Tavistock’s capabilities in design, planning, construction and development will support Lilium’s efforts in building this scalable, high-speed regional transportation system, across major locations in Florida. At its core, Lake Nona is designed to meet a higher standard of smarter, sustainable living, an ethos which closely matches that of Lilium.
Commenting on the ground-breaking partnership, Dr. Remo Gerber, Chief Operating Officer, Lilium said: “We are thrilled to partner with Tavistock and build the first stretch of Florida’s high-speed electric transportation network with Central Florida at its core. It shows that regional high-speed air mobility can be built by private initiative and give communities such as Lake Nona, which can also serve Orlando and arrivals from its international airport, the ability to determine themselves whether they want a link into a high-speed transportation network.”
Described as the “Future of Cities” by Fortune Magazine, Lake Nona provides an unmatched location contiguous to the Orlando International Airport, the origination site of more than half of the region’s 75 million annual visitors, with a robust economy and infrastructure ready to support the US launch of electric air mobility.
Orlando’s aerotropolis is highlighted by the international airport and robust aviation companies and services, including several within Lake Nona, which is home to BBA Aviation/Signature Flight Support and SimCom Aviation Training who recently announced the creation of its new global headquarters that will train approximately 10,000 pilots each year.
Discussing the partnership, Tavistock Managing Director Ben Weaver said: “We are delighted to partner with Lilium to create the first US network of vertiports and to launch within Lake Nona’s living lab allowing unrivaled connectivity unlike anything developed in the country to date. This partnership and network launch highlight our community’s passion and commitment to groundbreaking partnerships and new technologies that sets us apart as a city of the future. Lilium’s core mission of transport which not only supports bringing the region together but also provides a solution to environmental issues is incredibly impressive.”
The City of Orlando identified advanced air mobility as the next frontier of transportation for cities. The City’s vision is not just to be one of the first cities with electric vertical take-off and landing flights, but to be the first city to properly engage the community and set up operations and permitting in a way that optimizes a network for residents and visitors.
City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer commented: “For this new technology to truly reshape the transportation ecosystem and benefit Orlando residents long-term, it is going to take a true partnership between cities, developers and transportation operators. We have been focused on finding the right partners to be a global leader in the advanced air mobility space. I’m thrilled that our progressive and collaborative environment has created an opportunity for this unique partnership between the City of Orlando, Lilium and Lake Nona to invest in the expansion of safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly transportation options throughout one of the fastest growing regions in the country.”