The NBAA has outlined for US Senate leaders both the promise of advanced air mobility (AAM) and a plan for supporting policies to help the pioneering technology fully take flight.
In testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation's Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations and Innovation, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen explained the key benefits of AAM, including job creation and economic growth, sustainability, accessibility and national security.
“Advanced air mobility represents a huge milestone in the evolution of on demand air mobility,” Bolen told the committee. “These next-generation aircraft will provide connections that are not available through our existing aviation infrastructure, allowing us to address challenges with congested metropolitan areas, provide additional relief in the aftermath of natural disasters, increase access for rural and mid-sized communities, and link the remote spokes of cargo and supply chain networks.”
Results of a recent Deloitte study highlight the potential economic impact of the AAM market in the US. The firm estimates the sector will generate $115 billion annually by 2035 and create more than 280,000 high-paying jobs.
Bolen notes that the leaders guiding NBAA's recently formed Advanced Air Mobility Roundtable understand the technology's promise and are engaged with government stakeholders to make it a reality. The roundtable serves as a forum for original equipment manufacturers and others developing electric vertical take off and landing transport vehicles to work with policymakers on decisions regarding airport access, airspace management, local community engagement and other priorities.
Bolen urged lawmakers to prioritise AAM in the upcoming FAA reauthorisation process and outlined four key needs to ensure US leadership in AAM implementation:
- Ensure transparency and certainty in the regulatory process, including a commitment to deliver the powered lift Special Federal Aviation Regulation by 2024.
- Develop a national strategy to coordinate AAM integration at the federal, state and local levels to include AAM demonstration cities modelled after the UAS Pilot Programme.
- Provide continued investment in aviation infrastructure and other assets that will promote the manufacture, availability and use of these world-leading technologies, as contained in S 4246, or HR 6270, The Advanced Aviation Infrastructure Modernisation (AAIM) Act.
- Preserve congressional oversight of the nation's aviation system.
“Having congressional oversight of the NAS has always ensured that all stakeholders are represented,” Bolen concludes. “As we introduce new technologies, oversight from Congress will remain critical to ensuring America's aviation leadership across the world.”