A Spanish transport company Ferrovial has signed a framework agreement with Lilium GmbH, a German Aerospace company that is developing all-electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet aircraft to develop a network of at least ten vertiports in the U.S. The zero-carbon infrastructure and services for the operation of these flying cars will cover strategic locations in all major cities across Florida.
The partnership seeks to provide an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative transport network connecting locations across Florida. The so-called ‘vertiports’ will provide the basic infrastructure for landing, recharging, and taking off with passengers, according to the company, in the same way, that airports do for airplanes.
Both the companies will collaborate in the design and construction of these facilities, as well as in operation and maintenance of the vertiports for passenger service. This spring, the first location of one of these ‘vertiports’ in South Florida will be announced.
Lilium promises to connect regions in a more sustainable and comfortable way through its jet with electric motors, efficient and ultra-low noise, which will be able to operate in densely populated urban areas and cover long distances at high speed without emissions. This could support a ‘green’ economic growth in cities, improving their accessibility.
The company expects that around 20 million people in Florida will live within 30 minutes of these vertiports, and the 140 million annual visitors to the Sunshine State will have a high-speed alternative for their trips. “We are delighted to partner with Lilium in this big step towards new ways of achieving air mobility and sustainable infrastructure. Our partnership will deliver a uniquely different end-to-end passenger experience,” said Jorge Gil, CEO of Ferrovial Airports.
For his part, the CEO and co-founder of Lilium, Daniel Wiegand, argues that this collaboration “is a key element in the potential of regional air mobility to offer high-speed, affordable and emission-free travel to millions of people.”
Ferrovial has been part of the aviation industry since 1998 and has more than 20 years of experience in investing, developing, and operating in 33 airports around the world, including the United States, Australia, Chile, and the United Kingdom, where it has four airports through a 25% stake in Heathrow and a 50% stake in Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Southampton airports.