Air Taxis, Vertiports, and More: City of Orlando Leading the U.S. Towards Advanced Air Mobility

air taxis orlando smart cityOrlando Partners with VHB and NASA to Lead Nation in Advancing Air Mobility

The City of Orlando is looking to become a national leader in innovating on air mobility options, including emerging electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) technologies and “vertiports for air taxis.

by Ian M. Crosby

“As transportation options continue to evolve over time, the availability and accessibility of incorporating air taxis into a community’s transportation network greatly increases,” said Mayor Buddy Dyer. “As a future-ready city, the City of Orlando wants to be prepared to embrace these new transportation amenities that can enhance our regional connectivity and serve as a major backbone of our future transportation network.”

As part of this effort, the City of Orlando has cemented a partnership with VHB to create an Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Transportation Plan, as well as an exclusive aero-research partnership with NASA, where the City was one of only five entities to be selected.

On Friday, September 24, Orlando and VHB commenced the AAM transportation planning process by assembling transportation agencies, local governments and private stakeholders to discuss regional transportation and environmental challenges and opportunities.

The AAM planning process will take place over the next several months through a series of community workshops and will assess expected impacts associated with AAM through a regional connectivity plan. The gathered feedback will help to shape the advancement of the project going forward.

“The AAM Transportation Plan is a great example of what being a future-ready city means to Orlando,” said Curt Ostrodka, Director of Community Planning for VHB. “The plan will help us to stay ahead of an innovative form of mobility, with input from a wide representation of community members. Through collaboration, we will be able to identify the regional transportation and environmental challenges and opportunities that could be impacted by AAM.”

These partnerships and the advancement of the City’s AAM efforts align with the Orlando Future-Ready City Master Plan and Orlando’s goal of becoming America’s premier future-ready city by staying ahead of opportunities, ensuring it retains its status as a global destination.

The Orlando Future-Ready City Master Plan is a road map that is helping the City grow by leveraging data and new technology for the implementation of future-ready, sustainable solutions that are co-created by the community and address energy, economy, and resiliency. VHB developed the Master Plan in collaboration with Orlando and is supporting the plan strategies as Owner’s Representative. Some strategies put into place due to the plan include a digital device and public wi-fi hotspot lending library for underserved communities.

Want to read more about air taxis and urban air mobility?  Check out these articles on the public perception of urban air mobility, Hyundai’s big push on Vertiports, and the Hyundai /Uber drone taxi system.  Or, read more about NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility projects or when FAA Administrator Steve Dickson says we can expect to see urban air mobility in the U.S.