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April 12, 2024
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A consortium of leading Urban Air Mobility organizations is to develop a concept of operations for eVTOL vehicles in Miami Dade County, aiming to make it one of the key UAM regions in the United States. One of the partners is Eve Air Mobility, which has signed a Letter of Intent with Global Crossing Airlines (GlobalX) for up to 200 eVTOLs. Eve joins Archer and Lilium in developing UAM market in Florida.

The initiatives were announced on March 16 by Eve, the UAM spin-off of Brazilian airframer Embraer that will be acquired by Zanite. It is one of the most successful start-ups with commitments for almost 1.800 electric vehicles. Mind you that most are LoI’s or Memorandum of Understandings that need final confirmation and are dependent on all regulatory approvals for eVTOL operations.

Eve is working with the Brazilian ANAC regulatory agency to develop a concept of operations (Conops) in Brazilian cities. It now is involved in a similar process in Miami Dade County together with Skyports, L3Harris Technologies, and the Community Air Mobility Initiative (CAMI). The study will focus on eVTOL operations between Miami International Airport and the Miami Beach Convention Center.

In the coming months until July, the parties have planned a number of what they call ‘listen and learn’ sessions with community stakeholders and participants to establish what is required for successful and safe UAM operations in the county. This should result in flight profiles that are safe and acceptable to the community and also take the required infrastructure into account. GlobalX will formulate requirements for eVTOL operations and flights, Skyports will offer its knowledge on UAM airport facilities, L3Harris will look at air traffic management, and CAMI acts as the stakeholder on behalf of the communities. GlobalX is also keen to introduce eVTOL services in other parts of Florida, including The Keys, Naples, and Palm Beach.  

“Miami-Dade County and Florida present a great opportunity for Eve to create a blueprint that can be replicated in markets in North America and other regions as we look toward the introduction of UAM operations”, says Eve CEO Andre Stein in a media statement.

Artist impression of a vertiport in Lake Nona. (Lilium)

Archer plans to launch eVTOL network in Florida in 2024

Eve is not the first UAM company to have a look at Florida and Miami. In November 2020, Lilium and Tavistock Development Company announced plans for a high-speed eVTOL network across Florida, with Orlando’s Lake Nona set to become the first so-called vertiport. The German UAM start-up said it would partner with Spanish company Ferrovial, which operates 33 airports including London Heathrow.

About a year ago on March 9, 2021, Archer Aerospace said that it will develop a UAM network in Miami in 2024. The project has the full support of the City of Miami, which has been studying plans to develop disruptive transportation modes in South Florida as part of its C-Lab Miami plan. If Archer meets the 2024 deadline, it will be two years ahead of Eve, which plans to deliver the first electric vehicles in 2026. A few weeks earlier, Archer announced a similar initiative for the Los Angeles area.

“We know that infrastructure and transportation solutions in Southern Florida must change over the next decade to curb carbon emissions, decrease traffic, and create the multimodal transportation networks of the future,” said Miami’s Mayor, Francis Suarez, in a March 2021 statement. “The City of Miami is dedicated to collaborating with Archer to build one of America’s first UAM networks and work towards overcoming the geographical challenges of our water-locked areas currently only accessible via congested roadways. We couldn’t be more excited to be aligning with such a leading force in the eVTOL industry.”

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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