German-based startup Lilium announced the company is locating the first U.S. vertiport hub for its revolutionary on-demand, emissions-free electric jet service in Orlando’s Lake Nona. Lilium plans to create 143 new high-wage jobs in the next five years and construct a 56,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, which will serve as its first U.S. location.
Lilium was looking for a U.S. location to launch its revolutionary regional air mobility service and needed a central location with a supportive community that was open to new futuristic technology. The company’s fully electric, emissions-free vehicle enables connections from city to city with direct flights of up to 185 miles. The eVTOL (electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing) manufacturer needed a hub that could connect multiple cities across the state.
The City of Orlando has been working proactively to recruit future-looking air mobility companies like Lilium to the market. The City’s air mobility white paper caught the company’s attention as a community eager to embrace new air transportation technology. In advance of the company’s call, the City of Orlando had already begun the evaluation of potential vertiports, flight patterns, regulation, and other critical factors well in advance.
Orlando offered the perfect mix of factors for Lilium’s vertiport, including geography, weather, existing industry, and the community’s willingness to embrace new technologies. Orlando’s central location in the heavily populated but geographically spread-out state of Florida, combined with good flying weather, was an ideal option for the growth of the company’s regional service. The company also favored the region’s strong aerospace and defense and aviation clusters, including existing aviation headquarters within Lake Nona, such as BBA Aviation/Signature Flight Support and SIMCOM. Plus, the Central Florida market makes for an ideal testing ground for new transportation technologies like autonomous vehicles as one of the world’s most visited destinations and largest car rental markets in the country.
Partnering with Tavistock, the development company behind the future-focused Lake Nona community, Lilium will build an innovative 56,000-square-foot hub featuring breakthrough vertiport architecture that is both functional and beautiful. The company plans to create 143 new jobs over the next five years with wages greater than 150 percent of the median wage in Orange County.
Partnerships and Collaboration:
The Orlando Economic Partnership’s business development team assisted the company in understanding Orlando’s value proposition and contributed to its successful incentive application. The City of Orlando is offering a tax rebate for the facility. Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) also partnered on the project.
Orlando’s commitment and openness to innovation is why Lilium chose to launch its service in Florida. We are pleased to work with Orlando to realize a sustainable future that is just a few years from now.Dr. Remo Gerber, COO, Lilium