A new bill filed in the Florida House of Representatives proposes using the Orlando International Airport as a testing location for air taxis and other Advanced Air Mobility.
HB 981, filed by Doug Bankson (R-Apopka), sets up regulations for powered-lift aircraft operations, including Department of Transportation endorsements and how local municipalities can determine locations for vertiports. A vertiport is a term for the take-off/landing pads for vertical lift aircraft (not including helicopters). It also serves to designate the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority as a testing location for air taxis and similar services.
The regulations would require the owner of a vertiport location to obtain a public airport license, private airport registration, or temporary airport registration from the Department of Transportation. Additionally, they would need a powered-lift aircraft endorsement.
The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority is the government department that oversees all airports in Orange County, Florida. The test site would be located at the Orlando International Airport (MCO), which serves as the headquarters.
MCO likely won’t be the first vertiport hub in Florida. Lilium, an aviation company, and Tavistock Development Company have already announced a vertiport hub coming to Lake Nona in 2025.
With the proposition in early stages, it’s unknown what services would be offered to travelers.