Ferrovial, a global leading infrastructure operator, and Lilium, the aviation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet aircraft and service, have signed a framework agreement to develop a network of at least ten vertiports. The zero-carbon infrastructure and services will cover strategic locations in all major cities across Florida. This partnership seeks to provide an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative transport network connecting locations across Florida.
Lilium’s full-scale five-seater demonstrator first flew in May 2019 and is a fully electric aircraft that can take-off and land vertically (eVTOL). The Lilium Jet has 36 all-electric ducted fans with acoustic liners, capable of capturing and dissipating noise before it leaves the engine, thus blending into typical urban environments. Lilium expects to service a sizable global market demand by connecting communities at a fraction of the cost of conventional high-speed infrastructure, with zero operating emissions.
Vertiports are a key component in realizing the enormous potential of innovations in eVTOL aviation, providing infrastructure for landing, recharging, and taking off with passengers. According to a recent press release, Ferrovial and Lilium will collaborate in designing and constructing the vertiport facilities as well as the operation and maintenance of the vertiports for passenger service. The first location in South Florida will be announced as soon as Spring 2021.
Commenting on the partnership, Daniel Wiegand, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Lilium said: “Our partnership with Ferrovial to develop flight infrastructure, is a critical step in delivering the potential of regional air mobility to provide high speed, affordable, emissions-free travel to millions of people. As we accelerate our launch plans, Lilium is committed to partnering with industry leaders, bringing together their strengths and experience with our aircraft technology and passenger service infrastructure. We’re excited about what we will achieve together.”
Dr. Remo Gerber, Chief Operating Officer, Lilium continues: “Our strategy to bring high-speed transportation networks to an entire region is being brought to life in Florida, and Ferrovial is the ideal partner with their unrivaled expertise in airport construction and operations around the globe. 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.”
Ferrovial has earned a reputation as a leading infrastructure investor and operator, dedicated to developing sustainable solutions throughout the lifecycle of a project with an integrated approach, taking advantage of its business units’ synergies. Ferrovial currently manages $10 billion in assets in the United States. Ferrovial Airports is ready to be a player in the future of vertiports and urban air mobility. Providing passengers with choice and air travel alternatives contributes to the commitment to enhanced and further personalized passenger experience.
Why it’s important: Ultimately, Ferrovial and Lilium share the same goal – establish and grow a nascent urban air mobility ecosystem to deliver an innovative mode of transport that will shorten distances and improve quality of life for citizens. The Lilium Jet’s efficient and ultra-low noise electric jet engines allow it to operate in densely populated urban areas and cover longer distances at high-speed with zero operating emissions. By saving time and enhancing connectivity, the service will drive significant economic growth for cities and increase access to industry, culture, and nature.