By: Beatrice Silva
2 min read November 2020 — The aviation industry is soaring to new heights with the rise in popularity of ride-sharing applications like Uber and Lyft. The trendy business model also has gained speed within aeronautics due to the rising costs associated with owning a private jet. Lilium Aviation Inc., developers of the first all-electric, five-seater, vertical take-off and landing jet, have plans to bring a similar innovative transportation model to Orlando.
Although the aviation industry has experienced a bumpy year due to COVID-19-related challenges, the need to efficiently get from point A to point B will never disappear. In fact, some experts believe the pandemic has accelerated the trend of private flying.
“Charter and fractionals have seen some of their best months ever in May, June and July as the traveling public still wants to make some time to get away and yet minimize their exposure and the number of contacts between home and the final destination,” Janine Iannarelli, president of Par Avion Ltd, told Paper City.
Orlando’s Future Ready Master Plan involves using innovation and emerging technologies such as Lilium’s jets and advanced internet connectivity that could help bring the private flying experience to the masses. To make this a reality, Lilium Aviation Inc. and Orlando’s city council will have to come to terms on an incentive agreement.
“This evolution we’re moving into is a more interconnected way for us to look at driving intelligence within our city and driving efficiency and, at the end of the day, quality of life,” said Chris Castro, Orlando director of sustainability and resilience, at the Digital Orlando tech conference.
Lilium’s headquarters would span 56,000-square feet and act as a transportation hub for electric-powered jets to land and take off. If a tax incentive can be agreed, the facility would help bring hundreds of high paying jobs to the region in addition to offering people an innovative alternative means of transportation. In 10 years, the city believes Lilium could generate an estimated $1.7-million economic impact.
Since no infrastructure is required for the electric Lilium jet to take off, connections between each destination would be seamless. Lilium has designed a digital ecosystem that allows passengers to book flights with a touch of their fingertips. The application ensures that aircraft are being used and deployed to meet customer demand.
“We aim to connect city centers across whole regions with affordable and green high-speed transport at a fraction of the cost of traditional ground infrastructure, said Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO of Lilium.
Although the deal between Lilium and Orlando isn’t official, negotiations are developing in the right direction. If all goes to plan, Orlando could have flying taxis by 2025. It seems the sky isn’t the limit, after all. Rather, it’s the beginning for future technology and innovation within the aviation industry.