Lilium Air Mobility Plans to Put Airports on Our Inner-city Buildings

Lilium GmbH has been in the news before with their all-electric regional mobility plane. But the expansion toward the sky hasn’t been the problem. Our lack of Infrastructure is the reason we haven’t seen this in our cities yet.
Lilium Vertiport 7 photos
Photo: Lilium GmbH
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Knowing this missing piece of the puzzle, the team at Lilium has set forth to design fully functional airports for air-taxis. This German startup is currently designing a diverse number of vertiports, or vertical landing sites used by air-taxis and helicopters.

But why do this? It’s really simple, actually. Our current cities don’t meet all requirements to bring aerial taxis into our lives, even though the tech to offer this service does exist. Plus, helicopters are just so next level when it comes to costs. With this in mind, we were recently presented with the designs for a number of modular vertiports.

However, with new tech comes new regulations, and these vertiports are no exception. Safety and intrusiveness upon the environment are major issues when looking to build a pop-up airport. Safety guidelines for vertiports are very strict as the landing and take-off happen vertically and in a very tight space. This limits the diversity of air-taxis able to land on any specific vertiport. As the story goes, if it doesn’t fit, it won’t sit. Luckily, these vertiports are built around the Lilium air-taxi models already in production.

Lilium Air\-taxi
Photo: Lilium GmbH
The effect on the surrounding population, be it wildlife, be it mankind, is another important factor when building something like this. How big is it? How does it function? What are noise levels like? Where do you build it? As is the case with one of the vertiport modules, it is placed on top of an office building.

Here, even more questions arise. Do we currently have the roof-top space available to put in place such structures? Are our buildings strong enough? Just to raise a couple.

Let’s say we don’t have the necessary roof-top space. Not a problem. Lilium developed these modules to be built almost anywhere, meaning we could put one up on flat ground. But then, where do we get the available space from? City outskirts offer possible room for vertiports, but the main plan is to build these vertiports in cities. This offers you a higher concentration of customers and the possibility to offer as many flights as possible. Even round the clock, as most cities never sleep.

Lilium Vertiport
Photo: Lilium GmbH
But for companies like Lilium, this can be an advantage. If played out right, which seems to be the plan in Lilium’s case, competition would be very low. As the first company to get these things up and functional could potentially control many factors of air-taxi infrastructure. From costs for landing, storage space, and facilities, and even a say as to what vehicles are allowed in what area. All can constitute an advantage for the forebearer of this service.

12 different modules for these vertiports designs exist. All include a terminal, parking stand, and landing and take-off pads. Also included in the designs are charging facilities for the planes. Prices range from 1.14 million U.S. or 1 million Euro for the smaller module, and up to 17 million U.S. or 15 million Euro for the largest and most capable module.

Let’s say you’re a willing and courageous entrepreneur, look up the plans for these vertiports, grab one of two, and get the ball rolling. The tech is already waiting for a safe place to land.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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