Even though private jet hire has been resorted to, getting from the airport to your own destination, often in the center of a large city, takes a long time, also due to congested traffic and often remote airports. With a flying car air taxi, about twenty minutes from the landing of the private jet would be enough to get to a destination in the city center or elsewhere. That’s why Lilium jet is going to bring air taxis to the cities: the vertical take-off jets can land on airports, heliports or rooftops. “Very low costs”, no more sci-fi dream: North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) is planning air taxi stations at two airports.
North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) is to become a hub for air taxis
Travel on from the airport with an air taxi: this offer should soon be possible at the airports in Düsseldorf and Cologne – and be inexpensive for everyone. The two airports in Düsseldorf and Cologne / Bonn, as international transport hubs with very good connections to air, rail and road traffic, are an ideal starting point for the development of networked mobility that also includes air taxis.
Partnership with Düsseldorf and Cologne
The Munich air taxi startup Lilium has entered into a partnership with Düsseldorf and Cologne / Bonn airports. Together they want to examine how the two airports can become nodes of a regional air taxi network. The company announced on Tuesday. Lilium plans to bring air traffic to cities. The core of the project is an electric jet that takes off vertically and should therefore navigate better in populated areas. “We will offer an affordable service for everyone with time savings for all travelers in the heart of Europe”, says Lilium Managing Director Remo Gerber. Cities such as Aachen, Bielefeld, Münster and Siegen should be reachable fully electric and emission-free in an electric jet within 30 minutes. A pilot and four passengers fit into the jets. The company plans to launch air taxis as early as 2025. The existing infrastructure should be used for take-off and landing. For example, airports, heliports or even garage roofs could serve as air taxi stations.
NRW wants to become a pioneer in air taxis
Lilium has now secured the support of the most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia for the ambitious project of building a transport network for air taxis. “We need all modes of transport in order to provide people with a convincing, diverse range of mobility options,” says NRW’s Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst. “What sounds like science fiction today may soon become reality,” he says with reference to Lilium. According to the startup, the Lilium Jet has a range of 300 kilometers and at its peak it flies up to 300 kilometers per hour. The prototype’s maiden flight took place in May 2019. The Munich-based company is currently working on preparing the jet and the infrastructure for series production.
Lilium Managing Director
“I am very pleased that we are bringing our innovative airline offer to North Rhine-Westphalia,” says Lilium Managing Director Dr. Remo Gerber. “We will offer an affordable service for everyone with time savings for all travelers in the heart of Europe.” Cities such as Aachen, Bielefeld, Münster and Siegen should be fully electric and emission-free in just 30 minutes by electric jet (one pilot, four passengers) . “This enables us to connect to the many industrial and economic powerhouses in our country,” says Transport Minister Wüst. “North Rhine-Westphalia brings the mobility of the third dimension to the area.” Gerber: “North Rhine-Westphalia and its airports are ideal partners for us to implement this ambitious future project – here we receive the necessary support from committed employees in the ministry and in the airports to implement our innovation.”
“As the largest airport in North Rhine-Westphalia, we are placing a strong focus on networking modes of transport and infrastructure,” says Thomas Schnalke, CEO of Düsseldorf Airport. “Thanks to digitalization, travel is becoming more and more flexible, and mobility is subject to major changes that we will actively help to shape. The air taxi could be a useful addition to the existing transport network in the future. We therefore welcome the Minister of Transport’s initiative on the subject of ‘Mobility of the future’. We deal with the location-based possible uses of air taxis across all providers. A complex mobility concept requires cooperation. That is why we are bundling our strengths to strengthen North Rhine-Westphalia as an air traffic location together with Cologne / Bonn Airport. Many innovative companies are currently working in this area, flying cars or air taxis. We are exchanging ideas with the start-up company Lilium about the feasibility of air taxi services at the airport. All aspects relevant in this context are checked on the basis of a joint declaration of intent. “