The city of Orlando is making additional investments for the aerial mobility framework of the future. The Orlando Business Journal reported that the Orlando City Commission is preparing to offer a total of $831,250 USD in tax benefits to Lilium over a period of 9 years to engage and attract aerial mobility companies to create an estimated 140+ jobs in the Lake Nona development.
Lilium reportedly was quoted stating that the investment is earmarked towards construction of a 56,000 square foot transportation hub, which would substantiate the job increase figures quoted. This transportation hub would serve as the primary means for aerial mobility operations for Lilium within Florida, and would likely serve other cities and locales with smaller scale “sub-hub” vertiports or individual helipads.
The agreement also underscores another often overlooked component of aerial mobility implementation – the personnel required to run the business. While a key facet of future mobility is ongoing automation of previously manned tasks, the bridge solution between current technological readiness and that of the 22nd century will include humans in the loop for the forseeable next decade, or two. Accounting for and planning the infrastructure for human interaction and operations that interface with the aerial mobility industry (across design and operations phases) is crucial to short-term success that will ultimately allow for mid to long term success.
Not unlike current fulfillment centers, aerial mobility transportation hubs will require personnel to perform quick turn actions to replenish battery packs, conduct maintenance and troubleshooting on aircraft needing repairs, and manage the physical implications of safety stocks of parts and other supply chain considerations. Increasingly, the infrastructure to support these applications is very similar to that of current factories and fulfillment centers, which also represent economic advantages to commercial land owners and developers within local economies.
Why it’s important: Orlando’s agreement with Lilium will provide an economic boost to the area, in addition to more jobs, and emphasizes the importance of human touch-labor for aerial mobility processes today. Bridge solutions will involve human interaction with eVTOL technology for at least another decade, which mean that there is additional opportunity for local economic development and stimulus from the aerial mobility industry prior to any commercial air taxi operations taking place.
Source // Orlando Business Journal