13-Dec-2022 Source: Urban Movement Labs
Urban Movement Labs, in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, announced the publishing of Integrating Advanced Air Mobility: A Primer For Cities. Electric aircraft are on track to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2025, which opens a pathway for limited commercial deployment soon thereafter. To understand the AAM landscape and inform future policies, the City of Los Angeles partnered with Urban Movement Labs to understand how this new mobility technology would impact Angelenos and complement city-wide mobility goals. Integrating Advanced Air Mobility: A Primer For Cities documents how UML and the City of Los Angeles have approached learning about and engaging on the topic, and provides a framework for other cities to follow.
Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) refers to new aviation technologies that take advantage of new propulsion systems and advances in autonomous operations, such as electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. AAM proponents aim to leverage new technologies to reduce or eliminate negative externalities associated with noise and emissions, while increasing accessibility to more residents.
Developers of these new technologies and aircraft have viewed Los Angeles as a prime launch market since 2018. In response, the CIty of Los Angeles collaborated with the World Economic Forum to create the Principles of the Urban Sky in 2020. To build off of these principles, the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a collaboration between the City of Los Angeles and Urban Movement Labs, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to shaping equitable transportation solutions for Angelenos.
The goals of the AAM Partnership are to inform and engage community members, interface with the industry and follow technology and policy development, and to support the City in policy development. While a formal policy response has not taken place, the AAM partnership assures that the city will not be starting from scratch and will already have a developed understanding of AAM technology, impacts, and opportunities when the community requests this work to be done.
Integrating Advanced Air Mobility: A Primer For Cities is a culmination of the first phase of work completed by the AAM partnership. The primer provides other cities and jurisdictions seeking to understand how they might begin exploring their own policy response to emerging AAM technologies. It accomplishes this by providing a review of the state of the AAM industry in terms of technology development and emerging policy at the federal level. A ‘flight plan’ summarizes steps the City of Los Angeles has taken thus far in laying a foundation for future policy development. Finally, emerging opportunities and considerations guide near- and mid-term decision making.
“What we’ve learned in this work is that AAM will intersect many key departments within a city. While AAM is inherently seen as a transportation issue, policy levers that will ultimately shape how this technology will deploy and impact a city will require careful collaboration from transportation planners, land use planners, airport authorities, fire departments, building and safety authorities, utilities providers, emergency managers, economic developers, but most importantly, the community. Integrating Advanced Air Mobility will require a team effort and the AAM Partnership is emerging as a global model for integration efforts,” Clint Harper, UML’s Advanced Air Mobility Fellow.
“Los Angeles is leading the clean transportation revolution — charting a path to a future city that is better connected and less congested,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “With Urban Movement Labs, we’re also creating a model for how innovations like Advanced Air Mobility can help cities to reduce commute times and create green transportation options.”
“In Los Angeles we are building a 21st century transportation system that invites creativity and innovation to help us solve real world problems for all Angelenos,” said LADOT Interim General Manager Connie Llanos. “LADOT is ready to collaborate with Federal and State partners, the private sector, and community members to ensure that we are prepared to integrate aerial mobility into our transportation landscape, safely, sustainably, and providing the maximum benefit to our communities.”
“We are entering a new era of transportation”, said Director of Planning Vince Bertoni. “As a government agency, we are focused on advancing land use policies at the local level that will integrate air mobility within our overall transportation network. In doing so, we hope to ensure that this push toward smart automation will reflect the unique and diverse needs of our City.”
“Urban aviation is not a new concept.” added Justine Johnson, Urban Movement Labs Board President, “Helicopters, aircraft of all sizes, and drones are already present in the airspace above all cities. What’s new is the opportunity to break out of our traditional modal silos and think more inclusively about the ways in which technology and use cases may contribute to the advancement of equity and sustainability goals. Urban Movement Labs is proud to be a part of this collaboration and looks forward to continuing to advance thought leadership on this and other mobility initiatives”.