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Air taxi company proposes connecting Tampa with Pinellas

Veronica Brezina



A rendering of the electric vehicle aircraft from Eve Air Mobility. All images: Eve Air Mobility and TBARTA presentation

An air taxi company is proposing to bring its fleet of electric aircraft to Tampa Bay. 

During the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority meeting May 27, Matthew Land, head of public policy and government relations at Eve Air Mobility (NYSE: EVEX), explained how an electric aircraft system would operate and connect Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

Eve Air Mobility is a spinoff of the Florida-based Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer, which designs commercial jets. Eve Air Mobility’s product is considered an eVTOL, electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, and has zero emissions. 

“We, unlike some of our colleagues in the space, are not operating our aircraft. We are only selling and leasing them,” Land said, stating how vital it is to work with transit agencies and how the team looks to Embraer for expertise. He described the company as being an “ecosystem integrator,” as it is forming an urban air traffic management system and software solutions for eVTOLS in general. 

Eve Air Mobility clients include SkyWest Airlines, Republic Airways, Kenya Airways and aircraft lessor Azorra. Eve Air Mobility currently has a backlog of 1,825 eVTOLs.  

Earlier this year, Miami-based Global Crossing Airlines Group, operating under the GlobalX brand, made a deal with Eve Air Mobility to acquire up to 200 electric eVTOL aircraft, with deliveries scheduled for 2026.  

In a presentation showing the routes from Tampa to Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Land said Eve can save 40 minutes of driving time among the three cities during rush hour. 

A route analysis from Eve Air Mobility shows connections among Clearwater, Tampa and St. Petersburg.  

Eve’s commute times do not account for the time it takes to disembark and the passenger loading. 

Other images show the high-demand spots within the major cities, such as the Tampa International Airport, the University of South Florida area and the hospitals, where vertiports can be located. 

The estimated time and distance among the routes. 

“eVTOLs can work with the hospital network – whether that is transporting doctors from one of Moffitt’s facilities to another facility … or transporting a patient going in for their once-a-month health care screening,” Land said, proving a use case while presenting a route map showing connections to the different downtowns. Links to Moffitt may include the possibility of a connection to a future Moffitt Cancer Center campus that’s in the works for St. Petersburg

The aircraft can accommodate four passengers at a time; however, if the system becomes autonomous in the 2030s, there will not be a need for a pilot, and therefore it can accommodate at least one more passenger. 

The eVTOLs are also 80 to 90% less noisy than a traditional helicopter and can fly roughly 1,000 feet.

Land explained the transit system would have a significant economic impact in the area by the year 2035, as it would create 3,000 jobs “for the industry and Tampa Bay region itself.” Those jobs would generate an average income of $53,000, and it would provide $160 million of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) annually for TBARTA counties. 

The concept of launching air taxis in Tampa Bay is not new for TBARTA. 

German-based company Lilium previously spoke with TBARTA and former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. Although TBARTA did not enter any formal agreements with Lilium, the company inked a partnership deal with the City of Orlando to build a vertiport in Lake Nona, representing a $25 million investment. Lilium representatives said the goal is to connect Lilium to surrounding Florida cities. 

TBARTA has also heard from California-Based air taxi company Wisk Aero, which is backed by the Boeing Company and Google co-founder and former CEO Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk.

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