Two proposed bills aim to create a task force to promote advanced air mobility development and integration in Florida. (Photo: Lilium)
A bill to create the first advanced air mobility (AAM) task force in Florida was filed on December 21, 2021, by Florida State Rep. (R) Jason Fischer. This task force described in the bill (HB 1005) would assess the current AAM industry, and in particular, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Additionally, the bill states, the task force will identify federal requirements for deploying AAM in Florida, recommend necessary revisions to current state law which impact the AAM industry, and work with local governments “to evaluate potential integration of advanced air mobility into transportation plans.”
“As our cities and counties become more congested, new multimodal mobility solutions will be needed to ensure that our citizens have efficient and safe options in transportation,” according to the news release from the office of Rep. Fischer. If introduced and integrated successfully, AAM has the potential to strengthen statewide connectivity in Florida and reduce traffic congestion in addition to accelerating job growth and economic development.
HB 1005 from Rep. Fischer follows a nearly identical bill, SB 728, that was filed on November 2 by Florida State Senator (R) Gayle Harrell and approved by the Senate Transportation Committee in December. Both bills, if successfully passed, would go into effect on July 1.
Florida may be an ideal location for launching AAM operations in the U.S. due to its growing population as well as support from leaders that are open to emerging technologies and developments. The company Lilium has formed partnerships with Tavistock Development Company and infrastructure operator Ferrovial to develop 14 vertiports across the state of Florida. The first hub will be located in Orlando and could be launched in 2025.
A spokesperson from Lilium shared, “We’ve been working on a lean, modular design that will help make vertiports accessible to developers large and small.” The company is developing its 7-Seater Jet and intends to create 1,200 miles of connectivity for eVTOLs in Florida with its regional network. Lilium’s CEO Daniel Wiegand shared in an interview that commercial flights of their eVTOL aircraft may become available beginning in 2024.
A rendering of Lilium's 7-seater jet (Photo: Lilium)
“Advanced Air Mobility provides an opportunity to embrace the future and dramatically improve the lives of Floridians,” stated Rep. Fischer in the news release. The benefits of bringing AAM to Florida will be realized through the development of “forward-thinking policies and regulations alongside state and local lawmakers and local community stakeholders,” according to the release.