'Florida’s first flying taxi': Company to make Lake Nona a hub for air travel

Lilium, a German aviation company developing an all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet aircraft, says that they are making Lake Nona its first hub location for a high-speed, electric air mobility network in America.

The company, along with the Tavistock Development Company and the City of Orlando, made the announcement on Wednesday. 

They said that they plan to establish the network by 2025. The location will connect 20 million Floridians within a 186-mile radius, serving cities like Orlando and Tampa, through a Lilium jet aircraft. It can travel up to 186 miles in an hour on a single charge.

The City of Orlando reportedly hopes to be one of the first cities with electric vertical take-off and landing flights, with the ability to properly engage the community and set up operations for residents and visitors.

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“We are thrilled to partner with Tavistock and build the first stretch of Florida’s high-speed electric transportation network with Central Florida at its core. It shows that regional high-speed air mobility can be built by private initiative and give communities such as Lake Nona, which can also serve Orlando and arrivals from its international airport, the ability to determine themselves whether they want a link into a high-speed transportation network," Dr. Remo Gerber, Chief Operating Officer of Lilium, said.

Tavistock Managing Director Ben Weaver added that “we are delighted to partner with Lilium to create the first US network of vertiports and to launch within Lake Nona’s living lab allowing unrivalled connectivity unlike anything developed in the country to date. This partnership and network launch highlight our community’s passion and commitment to groundbreaking partnerships and new technologies that sets us apart as a city of the future. Lilium’s core mission of transport which not only supports bringing the region together, but also provides a solution to environmental issues, is incredibly impressive.”


“For this new technology to truly reshape the transportation ecosystem and benefit Orlando residents long-term, it is going to take a true partnership between cities, developers and transportation operators. We have been focused on finding the right partners to be a global leader in the advanced air mobility space," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said. "I’m thrilled that our progressive and collaborative environment has created an opportunity for this unique partnership between the City of Orlando, Lilium and Lake Nona to invest in the expansion of safe, efficient and environmentally friendly transportation options throughout one of the fastest growing regions in the country.”

Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings added, “our region strives for collaboration and innovation and to become the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Thank you to Lilium and Tavistock for helping us embrace the future of rethinking transportation and helping transform travel with Florida’s first flying taxi. This is truly The Jetsons coming to reality in Central Florida’s backyard.”

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“Lilium’s establishment of its first US air service in Lake Nona is a groundbreaking addition to the travel options for our residents and visitors,” said Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership. “The company’s revolutionary air transportation technology positions Orlando to lead the nation in regional air mobility. As a strong supporter of forward-looking regional transportation, the Partnership is excited to welcome Lilium to our region.”

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.