The White House indicated it may be interested in the research and development of eVTOL aircraft.
In a nine-page executive memo, the document discusses future development budget priorities for the US government beyond FY2021. The document covers a variety of R&D topics ranging from advanced communications, autonomy, and infrastructure resilience, among others.
This quote was taken from the memo and shows a clear priority for eVTOL.
“Departments and agencies should support the development and deployment of advanced communications networks by prioritizing R&D consistent with the National Spectrum R&D Strategy. They should prioritize R&D to lower barriers to the deployment of surface, air, and marine autonomous vehicles with a focus on developing operating standards, integration approaches, traffic management systems, and defense/security operations. Departments and agencies should prioritize R&D that enables electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing and civil supersonic aircraft, including for type certification, the creation of over-land supersonic flight noise standards, and low-sonic-boom aircraft research.”
“The administration believes that unique and innovative eVTOL designs have the potential to revolutionize the future of transportation. We at OSTP look forward to working across the Federal government to develop an eVTOL regulatory framework that prioritizes safety and promotes innovation, ” said Joseph Van Valen, senior policy advisor for advanced transportation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
Stakeholders in the aerial mobility space will be pleased to see support from the US government, yet it is unclear yet if these priorities will lead to greater R&D funding.
“As we move forward, government must ensure that that we continue to prioritize funding for these sort of technologies – especially as others such as Europe and China are investing significant sums to gain an advantage in these areas,” said David Silver of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).
Why it matters: One of the key barriers to the widespread acceptance of the aerial mobility industry will be cooperation with the US government, in particular, the FAA. With a clear prioritization from the executive branch, it brings to question if government support for the industry will match.