Lilium and infrastructure operator Ferrovial have signed a framework agreement to develop a network of at least ten vertiports covering strategic locations in all major cities across Florida. The first location in the south of the state will be announced as soon as Spring 2021.

This new partnership will see both companies collaborate in the design and construction of vertiport facilities, as well as the operation and maintenance for passenger services. It comes just months after the German startup announced its first hub location in Lake Nona, Orlando.

Commenting on the partnership, Daniel Wiegand, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Lilium said: “Our partnership with Ferrovial to develop flight infrastructure, is a critical step in delivering the potential of regional air mobility to provide high speed, affordable, emissions-free travel to millions of people.

“As we accelerate our launch plans, Lilium is committed to partnering with industry leaders, bringing together their strengths and experience with our aircraft technology and passenger service infrastructure. We’re excited about what we will achieve together.”

Vertiports are a key component in realising the potential of innovations of eVTOL aircraft, providing infrastructure for landing, recharging and taking off with passengers. The partnership between both companies seeks to provide an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative transport network connecting locations across Florida. 

Lilium is currently developing its regional air mobility service and designing its all-electric Lilium Jet aircraft. The full-scale five-seater demonstrator first flew in May 2019 and the company expects to begin launching its service in cities around the world as early as 2025.

Dr. Remo Gerber, Chief Operating Officer at Lilium, said: “Our strategy to bring high-speed transportation networks to an entire region is being brought to life in Florida, and Ferrovial is the ideal partner with their unrivalled expertise in airport construction and operations around the globe.

“Nearly all 20 million Floridians will live within 30 minutes of our vertiports and the 140 million annual visitors to the Sunshine State will have a high-speed option available to travel to their destinations.” 

Ferrovial is regarded as a leading infrastructure investor and operator, and currently manages $10 billion in assets in the United States. Ferrovial Airports have been part of the aviation industry since 1998 and have more than 20 years of experience investing, developing and operating 33 airports around the world.

The current portfolio in the United Kingdom consists of four airports. With a 25 per cent stake, Ferrovial is the largest shareholder and industrial partner in Heathrow Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. It also holds a 50 per cent stake in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports.

Jorge Gil, CEO of Ferrovial Airports, said: “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.”

Rafael Fernandez, Ferrovial Innovation Director, added: “At Ferrovial, we are determined to conceptualise, design and build the future of transport and mobility infrastructures. In this case, we partner with Lilium, one of the leading companies in this nascent urban air mobility ecosystem to deliver an innovative mode of transport that will shorten distances and improve quality of life for citizens.”