Lilium, the Munich-based aviation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft for regional air mobility, has agreed with both Dusseldorf Airport and Cologne/Bonn Airport to explore how the two airports can become hubs within a regional air mobility network spanning North Rhine-Westphalia. Lilium plans to establish regional air mobility as a new mode of transportation, using its fully electric, 5-seater aircraft by 2025.
The announcement was made this week in Dusseldorf in the presence of the Transportation Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Hendrik Wüst. As the largest and most densely populated German state (18 million inhabitants), including ten cities with over 300,000 inhabitants, as well as more than 40 universities and colleges and four international trade fair locations, North Rhine-Westphalia is an ideal location for Lilium landing sites. The Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area is the largest in Germany and the third largest in Europe. It now aims to become home to mobility in the third dimension.
North Rhine-Westphalia Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst explained: “What sounds like science fiction today may soon be reality. In the federal state with the highest mobility needs, smart ideas for better mobility are always welcome. We need all modes of transport in order to provide people with a convincingly diverse range of mobility options.“
He added: “North Rhine-Westphalia is a model region for the mobility of the future. We want digitally-networked mobility in North Rhine-Westphalia not only to be researched and developed, but also experienced as soon as possible. This is why we support and promote many future-oriented projects and research projects here in North-Rhine-Westphalia.”
As international traffic hubs with excellent connections to air, rail and road traffic, the two airports Cologne/Bonn and Dusseldorf are an ideal starting point for the development of networked mobility, which also includes air taxis.
“We are excited to bring our innovative service to North Rhine-Westphalia,” says Lilium COO Dr. Remo Gerber. “Cities such as Aachen, Bielefeld, Münster and Siegen will be directly connected to the region’s largest international airports within 30mins, providing emission-free, high-speed connectivity at an affordable price.”
Remo Gerber added: “North Rhine-Westphalia and its airports are ideal partners for us to implement this ambitious project of the future – we are grateful to receive this support from both the Ministry and our partners at the airports to implement our vision”.
Why it matters: Lilium’s partnership with Germany’s Transport Ministry will be crucial in making aerial mobility a reality in the region. The partnership will ensure the company has public sector support in recruiting talent, meeting with regulators, and garnering public support. Expect to see more partnerships like this one across the globe as manufacturers ready their prototypes for flight.