The United States House and Senate have introduced legislation looking to advance the development of aerial mobility, notably with bipartisan support. Under the name of “Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act,” the proposed bills call on U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to “establish an inter-agency working group to coordinate efforts to develop a complete AAM ecosystem to support widespread operations of new eVTOL aircraft”, or in other words, federal support for the development of an aerial mobility infrastructure system.
The U.S. House bill, H.R. 1339, was referred to the Subcommittee on Aviation on February 26th, 2021, by Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas), and was co-sponsored by Garret Graves (R-Louisiana). In the Senate, S.516 was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on March 1st, 2021, backed by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona).
According to Sen. Moran, “American aviation is entering a new era of innovation and growth, and industry leaders should have a seat at the table as the federal government creates programs to advance the development of this technology and sets safety and operation standards.”
The proposed inter-agency working group would include representatives from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), NASA, and U.S. Depts. of Defense, Energy, Commerce, and Homeland Security. Additionally, eVTOL aircraft manufacturers would be invited to participate, as well as pilot training and ground handling organizations, aircraft operators, aircraft maintenance providers, pilot and ATC unions, state, local, and tribal agencies, first responders, environmental groups and energy companies.
If enacted, the working group would be established within 120 days from the date of enactment, and ready to start deliberations 60 days afterwards. The group’s main tasks would be to provide a review and examination of all the factors — such as safety and security involved with air traffic management concepts involving AAM, federal policies that can be leveraged to advance AAM and necessary infrastructure to support the development of AAM, and benefits associated with such development — required to support aerial mobility development and to report on proposals within 180 days after the completion of this work, implying a rough estimated timeline that extends to the fourth quarter of 2022.
The legislation has received support from several key aviation industry groups, including the NBAA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Aerospace Industries Association, the Vertical Flight Society, Helicopter Association International, American Association of Airport Executives, and Airports Council International.
According to GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce, “The Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act goes well beyond the good work the FAA is doing to certify and build the operational regulatory framework to introduce electric aircraft into the National Airspace System,” Bunce said, adding such inter-agency and industry coordination would “help realize the enormous potential and broad societal benefits of this rapidly developing and transformative aviation sector.”
“On-demand AAM provides a path for the U.S. to maintain its position as the world leader in civil aviation, and there are significant opportunities for general aviation and our highly skilled workforce, which is why we support this important legislation,” added NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
Why it’s important: This legislation displays the rising popularity of aerial mobility, with bills being introduced in both House and Senate with bipartisan support. If enacted, aerial mobility development in the domestic market would be greatly accelerated, as federal support would allow for easier paths into installing aerial mobility infrastructure and services within the United States.
Source // AIN Online