MARINA – Beating out the city of Marina among others, Dayton, Ohio, was announced on Monday as Joby Aviation’s choice of where it plans to build its aircraft production facility, capable of delivering up to 500 aircraft a year and supporting up to 2,000 jobs.
Joby Aviation has been doing business in Marina for the past five years building and testing its electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles for commercial passenger service, and once considered Marina as one of five possible sites to build a 580,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.
Joby’s selection of Ohio’s Dayton International Airport as the site for its first scaled aircraft production facility followed an extensive competitive site selection process and is contingent upon standard due diligence, state and local approvals of incentives, permitting and other legal and regulatory matters as customarily accompany such investment projects, said the company in a press release.
“We’re building the future of aviation right where it all started, in Dayton, Ohio,” said JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby in the release. “The Wright Brothers harnessed revolutionary technology of their time to open up the skies, and we intend to do the same – this time, bringing quiet and emissions-free flight that we hope will have an equally profound impact on our world.”
Joby’s production aircraft is designed to transport a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph, with a maximum range of 100 miles and a revolutionary quiet noise profile that is barely audible against the backdrop of cities. The company plans to operate these aircraft as part of aerial ridesharing networks in cities and communities around the world, starting in 2025, building on partnerships it has developed with Delta and Uber.
Joby’s long-term investor, Toyota, which worked with Joby on the design and successful launch of the company’s Pilot Production Line in Marina, plans to continue to advise Joby as it prepares for scaled production of its commercial passenger air taxi in Ohio.
In June, Joby celebrated a milestone when it rolled out its first aircraft off its pilot manufacturing plant in Marina and announced it had received its Special Certificate of Airworthiness for that aircraft from the Federal Aviation Administration, allowing it to begin flight testing its first production prototype. The day was punctuated by an unmanned flight of the vehicle around the Marina airport.
The aircraft is expected to become the first-ever eVTOL vehicle to be delivered to a customer when it moves to Edwards Air Force Base in 2024 as part of Joby’s up to $131 million Agility Prime contract with the U.S. Air Force. The aircraft will next undergo initial flight testing before being delivered to the Air Force base where it will be used to demonstrate a range of potential logistics use cases.
Joby has been flying full-size aircraft since 2017 and its pre-production prototype aircraft have flown more than 30,000 miles since 2019. The Marina facility is one of three in California with others at Santa Cruz – where the company is headquartered – and San Carlos. Joby Aviation also has a facility in Munich.
“While Joby Aviation has announced plans to build its first scaled aircraft production facility in Dayton, Ohio, the company’s growth will continue to have a positive impact on our region, fueling technological innovation into clean energy transportation and the development of an industry sector,” said Monterey Bay Economic Partnership in a statement on Monday. “The company will continue to have a strong presence here in the Monterey Bay region, with a research and development facility in Marina and company headquarters in Santa Cruz, and its growth will continue to fuel innovation across our region.”
Joby Aviation is a Monterey Bay Economic Partnership member organization as well as a member of its board of directors.
Joby’s headquarters, research and development and pilot production facility will remain in California, according to the company. With approximately 150 open positions across Joby Aviation’s three Northern California sites, Joby continues to grow its presence in the state.
Joby plans to start hiring in the coming months, with early roles expected to focus on the build-out of the scaled facility and the machining of parts that will initially be incorporated into Joby’s California low-volume production line.
The city of Marina worked with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the County of Monterey, local legislators, UC Santa Cruz, CSU Monterey Bay and other regional partners to put together tax incentives, grant proposals and other financial packages to assist Joby Aviation to be able to build its manufacturing facility at the Marina Municipal Airport.
In May, Marina submitted a proposal that contained about $226 million worth of incentives in the form of grants, property tax, sales tax and use tax, among other incentives.
The Wright Brothers, who invented and flew the first powered aircraft, lived and worked in Dayton and opened the first airplane factory in the United States there in 1910. The city is also home to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the headquarters of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratories which has played a key role in supporting Joby’s development.
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“Ohio’s legacy in aviation begins with the Wright Brothers and continues with Joby Aviation as they launch a new era in aviation manufacturing and aerial mobility in Dayton,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in the release. “The aircraft that will roll off Joby Ohio’s production lines will redefine urban transportation and contribute to a fundamental change in the way people and goods travel. We welcome Joby and celebrate the new chapter of air mobility history that will be made in Ohio, the Heart of Aviation.”
Joby plans to build a facility capable of delivering hundreds of aircraft per year at the Dayton International Airport. The 140-acre site it has selected has the potential to support significant further growth over time, providing enough land to build up to two million square feet of manufacturing space. Construction of the scaled Ohio facility is expected to start in 2024 and it is expected to come online in 2025. Joby plans to use existing nearby buildings to begin near-term operations.
The state of Ohio, JobsOhio and local political subdivisions have offered incentives and benefits of up to $325 million to support the development of the facility, while Joby plans to invest up to $500 million as it scales operations at the site. Joby also announced Monday that it has been invited by the U.S. Department of Energy to submit a Part II Application for financing under the Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program, which provides access to low-interest loans for clean energy projects and would support the scaling of the facility.