NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen applauded US Senate passage of the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Coordination and Leadership Act (S 516), a bill that will facilitate the creation of policies, procedures and programmes to support the integration of this emerging aviation sector into the USA's transportation infrastructure.
“AAM is expanding the very definition of on demand air mobility and presenting the United States with the opportunity to enhance the country's leadership in all aspects of aviation,” says Bolen. “We welcome this legislation, and we thank the bill's sponsors, Senators Jerry Moran and Kyrsten Sinema, for championing this exciting new technology.”
GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce adds: “As advanced air mobility continues to develop, it will be essential for federal government agencies and departments to be coordinated and prepared to usher in this rapidly developing sector of aviation which will facilitate additional transportation options, create jobs, spur economic activity and competitiveness, advance environmental sustainability, foster further advancement in aerospace technology and support emergency preparedness. We applaud the Senate for passing the Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act, which has broad bipartisan and bicameral support. We are very appreciative of all the work of those that championed the bill in the Senate, especially its sponsors, Senators Moran and Sinema.”
The Senate bill and a companion bill passed by the US House of Representatives (HR 1339) in November 2021 instruct the Department of Transportation to establish an AAM interagency working group composed of leaders from key government agencies. The working group will be tasked to review and make recommendations for the federal role in the AAM sector, beyond the initial critical stage of aircraft certification and operations, with a focus on economic and workforce opportunities, potential physical and digital security risks and mitigations, and infrastructure development. In developing these recommendations, the working group will consider the views of various stakeholders including aviation operators and manufacturers; airports; labour groups; state, local and tribal officials; consumer groups; and first responders.
“Both the Senate and House have worked diligently in a bipartisan manner to pass their versions of the Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act. We are on the cusp of the future of aviation, and it is our hope that Congress can work expeditiously to get the bill finalised so that we can further develop and grow the advanced air mobility sector,” says Bunce.
The bill is part of a broader legislative and regulatory effort supported by NBAA and industry stakeholders. This includes NBAA's work with the FAA to draft guidance on vertiports and with Transportation Security Administration officials on security best practices.
NBAA's advocacy also led to the introduction of the Advanced Aviation Infrastructure Modernisation (AAIM) Act. That bill directs the US Secretary of Transportation to create a pilot programme to offer planning and construction grants to support the development of the necessary infrastructure to support AAM operations, including public use vertiports. The AAIM Act has attracted a growing list of bi-partisan co-sponsors and NBAA continues to advocate for its passage.