The Sustainable Aviation Symposium 2019 (SAS) will focus deeply on urban aerial mobility, covering issues of technology, platforms, and other emerging topics.

“The SA Symposium is a unique opportunity for visionaries, innovators, enthusiasts and authorities to connect, share ideas backed by experience, and discover new technological frontiers of flight.” -Tine Tomazic, Aircraft Designer at Pipistrel

UC Berkeley’s annual sustainable aviation symposium recognizes the global growing industry of aerial mobility, bringing forward 30 industry leaders over 2 days of aerial mobility discussions. Notably, these include Tine Tomazic of Pipistrel, Dr. Anita Sengupta, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Airspace Experience Technologies, Oliver Garrow, CTO and co-founder of Sabrewing Aircraft, Dr. Ajay Misra Deputy Director of Research and Engineering at NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center, Martin A. Peryea, Chief Technology Officer Jaunt Air Mobility, and many more. For the full list of speakers, visit the symposium’s website. 

Aerial Mobility eVTOL's

The Jaunt Air Mobility eVTOL (left) and the Pipistrel 801 eVTOL (right).

Pipistrel and Jaunt Air Mobility, which are represented by speakers at the symposium, are partners to Uber Elevate, which is planning on building a large-scale network of eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft) in the world’s major cities. Already, Uber has committed to launching initial tests within Melbourne, Dallas, and Los Angeles within 5 years.

As evidenced by its name, a major aspect of the conference will be discussing what kind of impact urban aerial mobility (UAM) will have on the world. The symposium is dedicated to understanding the potential of eVTOL technology, primarily focusing on how it will be accessible and inclusive to everyone. This is in line with Uber’s ultimate vision; Elevate’s whitepaper (page 81) examines the economics of large-scale eVTOL use in making it an accessible service to all.

According to a press release from UCB, “SAS 2019 is focused on safe, quiet, electric aviation solutions to the most pressing problems of our age: climate change, urban surface gridlock, and the need for integrated community and urban planning to enable high proximity aviation at meaningful scale.”

The main questions examined will be:

  • Which systems will win a dominant share of the market and why?
  • How will ‘urban air vehicles’ be made “airline-safe” and autonomous?
  • What new technologies are needed to converge to optimize the UAM system?
  • How will airparks affect wildlands, ground transit & communities large and small?
  • How will UAM freight and passengers make last-mile connections?
  • How will the air traffic of UAM be managed?
  • What roles will urban air vehicles have in emerging economies or natural disasters?

For 70 years, the Institute for Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley has been recognized as one of the world’s leading centers for transportation research, education, and scholarship. The Institute was created in 1948 as an Organized Research Unit by the California state legislature. Today, it is the epicenter of study for all modes of transportation — from technological advances to social and environmental consequences.

View the 2018 SAS recap on eVTOLs:


Why it’s important: As the industry of aerial mobility moves forward, developers and enthusiasts can start to think with intention about what kind of impact eVTOLs. These new point-to-point flight technologies have enormous potential for improving the lives of all people living in major cities/ Conferences the like the Sustainable Aviation Symposium help explore this massive potential, and guide the path to large-scale eVTOL services available to anyone.

To learn more about the conference or register to attend, visit the Sustainable Aviation Symposium homepage.


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Posted by Benji

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