The advent of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) comes with many new challenges. As the industry makes technological advancements in eVTOL development and infrastructure, the most important thing that federal and state agencies can do is to begin developing comprehensive plans that address AAM concepts – including airspace management, safety, and infrastructure, as well as public involvement and education.
(Need to catch up? Read Part I of this series here!)
Strategizing on a National Level
Current efforts include the formation of the Advanced Aviation Advisory Committee (AAAC) to provide independent advice to FAA on issues and policies related to integrating advanced aviation technologies, including unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and AAM, into our current airspace system.
Most recently, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) published a request for information on advanced air mobility. USDOT asked for public input on developing a national strategy on AAM as is required by the Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act. The deadline for comments was July 17, 2023. Follow this link to find out more.
As part of this planning, it will be imperative to communicate and build trust with the community. The AAAC has formed a subcommittee to develop a guide for best practices for community engagement. The committee reported on their findings at their meeting in April, however, have not released anything official at this time. The meeting eBook can be found on their website.
Strategizing Statewide for Advanced Air Mobility
Like the FAA, states are beginning their own discussions and strategies on developing statewide policies and public outreach. The best way for airports to get involved is to educate themselves; get involved in developing state policies, meet with leading experts on AAM, and tour some facilities that are developing emerging technologies. Some notable companies include Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Joby Aviation, Lilium, Volocopter, Vertical Aerospace, Aergility and Beta Technologies.
Including AAM in Your Airport Master Plan
If there’s a master plan on the horizon, consider including plans for infrastructure to support AAM. It’s not too early to start educating the community by including presentations on AAM at city or town meetings. Early public acceptance will prevent possible future hurdles. Educating the public on the purpose of AAM is important. Sharing how this technology is intended to enhance topics such as regional air transportation, emergency response, and environmental equity while also allowing public input on perceived unintended consequences such as safety and privacy will set a framework for objective education and transparent and empathetic dialogue.
The call for electric vehicles and environmental protection is getting louder, and it can leave airport professionals overwhelmed with the number of tasks at hand to meet new regulations. As this new wave of electric aircraft hits, we want to make sure our airport clients feel prepared with knowledge and understanding of their options. Do you want to get ahead of the curve? Reach out to me today and we can strategize!