Va. joins collaborative to launch air taxi industry
Va. is one of eight states in group
Virginia has joined seven other states in forming a collaborative to support the growth of the advanced air mobility industry.
The Advanced Air Mobility Multistate Collaborative represents all aviation modes, including small uncrewed aircraft systems (sUAS) and electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (eVTOL), which are both often referred to as air taxis, as well as traditional aviation and airports. The collaborative is meant to act as a forum for exchanging industry ideas around technology, economic and infrastructure development, and commerce and trade, as well as to identify and harmonize governance and regulatory mechanisms in each state to ensure continuity of operations. It will also study the development of guidance for state authorities to connect with and complement the Federal Aviation Administration’s airspace jurisdiction.
“While the Federal Aviation Administration regulates AAM operations in the national airspace, state governments can support AAM by shaping the state and local laws and regulations, infrastructure and funding that complement the FAA policy and advance the AAM industry,” Virginia Department of Aviation Director Greg Campbell said in a statement.
The collaborative, which held its first meeting in Herndon on Nov. 14 and Nov. 15, is largely comprised of aviation directors from states including Alaska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah as well as the National Association of State Aviation Officials, though it is expected to grow, said Tracy Tynan, director of the Virginia Unmanned Systems Center, a part of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corp.
The group plans to add members from other states and to serve as a resource to develop a national AAM ecosystem. It plans to seek input from industry to help with additional analysis and establish goals to enable policy. Its next meeting is planned for Ohio in February 2024 and is expected to cover topics including the role of the states in AAM, lessons learned, harmonizing policy, minimum service levels for physical and digital infrastructure, and financial models for initial funding and how to sustain the building of infrastructure.
An economic impact study released in January showed that air taxis in Virginia could generate up to $16 billion in new businesses and carry as many as 66 million passengers by 2045.