June 29, 2021
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen highlighted recent work undertaken by leaders in industry and government to ensure the safe incorporation of advanced air mobility (AAM) transportation solutions during a June 29 panel held as part of Corporate Jet Investor magazine’s virtual Revolution.Aero Global 2021 conference.
For example, Bolen pointed to the AAM Coordination and Leadership Act – introduced in March by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and supported by NBAA – which would authorize the U.S. Department of Transportation to form an interagency working group to examine potential AAM safety and security risks and to make recommendations for the federal role in the support and maturing of those technologies.
As another recent AAM-focused initiative by government leaders, Bolen mentioned FAA Administrator Steve Dickson’s participation in a March 4 Virtual Business Aviation Town Hall, hosted by NBAA, in which Dickson made announced the formation of a new executive council to help foster the development and safe integration into the aviation system of emerging Advanced Air Mobility technologies.
“The industry wants to go ‘here,’” Bolen said, referring to the emerging AAM technologies, which have been on display at recent NBAA conventions. “We’ve always been about on-demand aerial mobility, and we want to work with government to ensure AAM is part of industry and government planning now, and in the years to come.”
Katie Kentfield, a legislative correspondent in Sen. Moran’s office, emphasized the need for industry input for AMM integration, including through NBAA’s AAM Roundtable, which is comprised of OEMs developing electric vertical takeoff and landing transport (eVTOL) vehicles and other systems.
“This group would be responsible for creating an AAM national strategy,” she said. “It’s really important to make sure that a lot of folks have a bite at that conversation, and we want to be certain we’re not missing anything on our part in crafting that legislation.”
Bolen agreed, adding: “NBAA, with its AAM Roundtable, has had really good communication with the FAA, which is doing a great job on the certification of the aircraft. As that pathway is more defined, we’re moving into the operational world, and we need to stay connected to optimize our planning.”
The day-long Revolution.Aero Global 2021 event examined the expanding AAM market from several perspectives, including questions about the segment’s long-term viability even as dozens of manufacturers, regulators and other stakeholders work to make AAM a reality. Bolen emphasized his belief that the excitement surrounding this market is justified.
“This is an industry that reflects public sentiment,” he concluded. “We know people want more mobility, sustainability [and] quiet modes of transportation. We want to leverage available technology to create a safe, sustainable mode of transportation that builds on that long-held American desire to go where you want, when you want.”