EmbraerX, Embraer’s own innovation division, recently publicly released Flight Plan 2030, a 48-page document calling for the creation and implementation of an “urban air traffic management” (UATM) system. The report presents a preliminary concept of the “design and management of low-altitude urban airspace that will allow UAM to evolve over the next decade.”

Embraer’s own eVTOL concept, the DreamMaker.

Flight Plan 2030 envisions a single urban air traffic control that would manage urban airspace for not just eVTOLs, but any aircraft, manned or unmanned, in urban airspace. Drawing upon existing air traffic control technology, provided by Atech and Harris Corporation, Flight Plan 2030 ideally would create a unified urban air traffic control system that can meet the demands of next generation air transportation.

These UATM systems would span across each city, and rely on advanced information networks and possibly even artificial intelligence, all in order to define safe air routes and corridors for air taxis to take. The air taxis would run between Skyports, or landing zones, and would run similarly to how airplanes work with airports today. During cruise flight, all flights would be managed by a single “urban airspace service provider” (UASP), that would have the authority to adjust flight plans and track each individual flight to prevent collisions.

The UATM systems would function similarly to existing conventional air traffic control systems, directing eVTOL aircraft through flight routes in between “Skyports”, or landing zones.

Flight Plan 2030 also provides some insight as to how the urban air mobility industry would interact and collaborate with pre-existing dedicated air traffic control systems, such as conventional Air Traffic Control (ATC) agencies and Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems for drones. Predicting an increased volume of air traffic in the next few decades, Flight Plan 2030 indicates that Embraer, among other aerospace companies, have already begun preparing to find solutions on how to develop a safe and efficient air traffic control system.

“Urban air mobility will evolve to become a significant mode of transportation in the next decade and will require a truly collaborative ecosystem,” said Antonio Campello, President & CEO of EmbraerX. “Our Urban Air Traffic Management (UATM) concept ensures equitable and safe access to urban airspace for a broad spectrum of aircraft, including conventional helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and eVTOLs. FlightPlan 2030 presents what we believe are the necessary first steps towards autonomous capabilities.”

Why it’s important: While many aircraft makers are in the various stages of eVTOL aircraft development, EmbraerX has begun addressing a key issue in the infrastructural and technological challenges that the UAM industry faces. For air taxi services to become widespread, there must first be a reliable and efficient urban air traffic control system ready to integrate those services. Flight Plan 2030 represents a strong first step into taking a serious look at how the UAM industry would fit and interact with pre-existing air traffic, and what kind of requirements a new system would need to function properly.

Read the full Flight Plan 2030 White Paper here.

Sources // EmbraerX White Paper: Flight Plan 2030

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Posted by Naish Gaubatz

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