To facilitate the manufacturing of flying taxis, Joby Aviation said it was investing up to $500 million to build a new factory dedicated to the mass construction of flying taxis in Dayton, Ohio. (Related: Would you ride in a drone? Self-flying taxi will have parachutes but no driver.)
The chosen site is a 140-acre plot of land near the Dayton International Airport and it is set to be the first serial production location for the company. This would also move the company away from its prototype manufacturing and testing facility in San Jose, California.
Once completed, this new manufacturing facility is expected to support the creation of up to 2,000 jobs and be able to produce up to 500 cutting-edge electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft annually.
The new facility at Dayton is expected to be provided enough land to build up to two million square feet of manufacturing space.
Construction of the new manufacturing facility is expected to begin in 2024, and Joby Aviation expects to start the hiring process before the end of the year and has already begun encouraging people both inside and outside the state to apply for roles.
Joby Aviation has been flying full-scale prototype aircraft since 2017. It unveiled its first production-representative aircraft in June – an eVTOL that can fit four passengers and a pilot. Company founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said the company is "ramping up the testing team aggressively" so that it can conduct the thousands of additional tests and evaluations necessary to receive certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Joby Aviation executives noted that the decision to build the manufacturing facility in Dayton followed an "extensive competitive site selection process." The company did admit that the state government, along with several other political organizations, have offered up to $325 million in incentives and benefits for the development of the Dayton site.
Furthermore, Joby Aviation said the agreement to construct the facility in Dayton is still contingent upon "standard due diligence, state and local approvals of incentives, permitting and other legal and regulatory matters as customarily accompany such investment projects."
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the partnership with Joby Aviation on Sept. 18, adding that it could bring up to a billion dollars to the Buckeye State.
"Ohio's legacy in aviation leadership begins with the Wright Brothers and continues now with Joby Aviation, as they launch a new era in advanced aviation manufacturing and aerial mobility in Dayton," said DeWine, referencing Orville and Wilbur Wright, the brothers who invented and flew the first engine-powered aircraft.
"The aircraft that will roll off Joby Ohio's production lines will redefine urban transportation and contribute to a transformational change in the way people and goods travel," he added. "We welcome Joby and celebrate the new chapter of air mobility history that will be made here in Ohio, the heart of aviation and aerospace."
"We're building the future of aviation right where it all started, in Dayton, Ohio," said Bevirt. "The Wright Brothers harnessed revolutionary technology of their time to open up the skies, and we intend to do the same."
In a separate interview, DeWine noted how excited he was about the development of air taxis.
"We find this very, very exciting, not only for the direct jobs and indirect jobs it's going to create," said DeWine. "It's a signal to people that Ohio is looking to the future. This is a big deal for us."
Joby Aviation further noted the fact that Dayton is home to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and is the headquarters of the United States Air Force Research Laboratories, both of which have played a "key role" in supporting the company's development.
Learn more about innovative vehicles at FlyingCars.news.
Watch Josh Kincaid of "The Talking Hedge" podcast touching on how the FAA plans to allow flying taxis in the United States by 2028.