Infrastructure operations group Ferrovial is partnering with eVTOL aircraft developer Lilium to develop a network of 10 or more new vertiports across Florida. The venture builds on Lilium’s previously announced plans to launch commercial flights across the state from 2025, starting with a base at the Lake Nona residential and business development near Orlando.
The partners said they will announce the first of several more vertiports sites this Spring and that this is to be in south Florida. The five-seat Lilium Jet can operate across a radius of 185 miles, allowing it to reach many of the more populous areas of the state, including Tampa, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Jacksonville. Having new vertiport locations further south from the Orlando area in central Florida would allow the network to extend across the entire Miami metropolitan area.
At Lake Nona, Lilium is partnered with Tavistock Development Company, which has built this new community as part of the wider Aerotropolis business park adjacent to Orlando International Airport. The German company has not said whether other property developers will be involved with the further vertiport sites, or whether these will be built close to existing airports or in city center locations.
“Nearly all 20 million Floridians will live within 30 minutes of our vertiports and the 140 million annual visitors to the Sunshine State will have a high-speed option available to travel to their destinations,” said Lilium’s chief operating officer Remo Gerber.
The Spain-based Ferrovial group includes Ferrovial Airports, which was formed in 1998 and now operates 33 airports worldwide, after providing investment and development expertise. It has facilities in the U.S., Australia, and Chile, as well as having stakes in four UK airports.
Ferrovial’s new Foresight innovation division will support Lilium in designing and building the planned vertiports, which will including space for eVTOL arrivals and departures, as well as recharging and maintenance facilities. Both companies will be involved in operating the vertiports.
The footprint for each of the planned vertiports will be almost 60,000 square feet and Gerber explained to FutureFlight that these could be part of a parking garage for cars. He estimated the cost of building new structures at around $10 million and said that each facility in Florida is expected to have an annual throughput of more than one million passengers.