Joby is hiring: Air taxi firm acquires facility, eyes liftoff at Dayton airport

Joby Aviation Inc. on Tuesday announced that it has started hiring workers for its Dayton operations after the company acquired a vacant facility at the Dayton International Airport that it will use to manufacture aircraft parts.

The California-based company, which is developing electric air taxis for commercial use, said its acquisition of a former U.S. Postal Service facility is an important first step toward creating a local manufacturing operation that will produce as many as 500 aircraft each year.

Joby Aviation says it will turn the roughly 204,385-square-foot postal facility into a high-tech manufacturing center where it will produce aircraft parts to support the company’s pilot production line in Marina, California.

“Later this year, we expect to begin subtractive manufacturing of titanium and aluminum aircraft parts as we continue to grow our workforce in Dayton,” said Didier Papadopoulos, president of aircraft OEM at Joby.

Joby plans to build larger facilities on vacant land at the Dayton airport next to the postal service building.

The Dayton City Commission last month approved a ground lease agreement with Joby to lease the former post office building.

Gil Turner, Dayton’s director of aviation, said the city remains in negotiations with Joby for about 140 acres of vacant property immediately adjacent to the postal facility.

Joby is going to renovate the building on its own, without the city’s help.

City officials said the former U.S. Post Office location was last used over 10 years ago, as a mail and package processing facility for USPS. They said they are currently in negotiations with Joby about the adjacent land the company hopes to develop. That land, a strip southwest of the USPS building, has never been built on, according to the city.

That’s where it plans to make electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

Joby announced in September that it had selected Dayton to be home to its scaled manufacturing facility. The company says it plans to invest up to $500 million into its Dayton operations and create as many as 2,000 local jobs.

A Joby spokesperson said as the company’s initial production facility comes online, it will be looking to hire skilled machinists and engineers, quality inspectors and supply-chain professionals.

A job posting on the company’s website for a Dayton shop production manager says the Dayton team will be “operating 5-axis mills, and multitasking lathes to create complex aircraft components from raw stock to finished parts.” It also says there will be “associated support teams along the manufacturing chain.”

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Joby plans to expand its manufacturing facility in Marina to support flight training, aircraft storage and expanded manufacturing processes, said Matt Field, Joby’s chief financial officer, during a earnings call late last month.

Joby, which has about 1,700 employees around the globe, at first is expected to produce one aircraft per month at its Marina site, Field said.

But he said the company expects to more than double its annual aircraft production there, giving it the ability to scale up to producing 25 air taxis per year.

The expansion could be completed in 2025. The workers being hired in Dayton will build parts to support production and aircraft assembly in California.

Field said Joby is taking a “measured approach” to scaling its operations in Ohio by starting small and then ramping up in a methodical way. Joby’s manufacturing operations at the Dayton airport are expected to begin later this year.

Joby says its aircraft offer “high-speed mobility with a fraction of the noise produced by helicopters and zero operating emissions.”

The company says its electric air taxis can carry a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph.

Joby already has completed more than 100 inhabited flights, said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation.

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