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Tampa expects flying taxis, eVTOLs, to be available for use by 2025

Imagine this scenario: Your return flight lands at Tampa International Airport, and instead of getting stuck in traffic on your way home, you board a flying air taxi. Tampa International Airport envisions such a future, and it may be just a few years away.

Tampa expects flying taxis, eVTOLs, to be available for use by 2025, predicting price as little as $1-3 a mile with 100-mile range

Airport officials are in the initial planning stages to accommodate advanced aircraft called eVTOLs (electric vertical takeoff and landing) that operate like helicopters. These eVTOLs would transport passengers between TPA and designated landing pads throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Brett Fay, Director of General Aviation for the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, emphasized the imminent nature of this innovation: "This is something that is coming. It’s not just a pie-in-the-sky idea. This is happening, and it’s real, and it’s going to happen over the next few years."

Fay cited Tampa Executive Airport's strategic location near major intersections, making it an ideal hub for this type of transportation. He sees the potential for it to become an urban mobility center serving various activities.

However, before booking flights on eVTOLs, regulatory challenges must be addressed. Some manufacturers are aiming for certification by 2024, with the possibility of carrying passengers in the following years. Tampa International Airport estimates that initial eVTOL deployment could occur between 2025 and 2030. By 2035, the plan is to have eVTOLs operating in select cities with limited automation. The long-term vision is full automation in multiple cities, potentially achieved by 2045 or beyond.

"Flying taxis will be a reality at Tampa International Airport in the near future," affirmed the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. The authority is collaborating with various companies to introduce "advanced air mobility" to the region.

Tampa expects flying taxis, eVTOLs, to be available for use by 2025, predicting price as little as $1-3 a mile with 100-mile range

Fay, the director of general aviation for HCAA, expressed enthusiasm for the evolving technology: "It’s an exciting time for aviation and to see this new type of technology really evolve, it’s something that we know is happening, and we want to be in front of that." Anticipating rapid progress, Fay anticipates passengers utilizing eVTOLs for travel within Florida by 2025.

Tampa International Airport's plans include establishing helipads for eVTOLs at the far eastern corner of the airport, near the Hillsborough Community College campus across from Raymond James Stadium. Affordability is a factor: "Initial costs will probably be around $3 per passenger-mile, but the real key to unlocking the full potential of this is autonomy," Fay noted. Removing the need for a pilot could potentially lower costs to around $1 per passenger mile. The aircraft's range spans 50 to 100 miles, and Fay views this innovation as a comprehensive ecosystem, contributing to economic activity, job creation, manufacturing, and maintenance.

Tampa International Airport is poised to usher in a new era of transportation with flying taxis, with plans to integrate them into the local landscape in the next few years.

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