A pioneering report on Urban Air Mobility (UAM) outlining seven principles for a safe, sustainable, and inclusive implementation of the next-generation aviation technology, has been released as a joint effort between the City of Los Angeles and the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The report entitled “Principles of the Urban Sky”, is presented ‘for a general audience to consider, for cities to engage with, for the industry to apply and for policymakers at all levels of government to develop further’, according to the WEF.
It identifies seven principles to guide city and industry leaders as they develop UAM policy and infrastructure, including; safety, sustainability, equity of access for disadvantaged communities, low-noise, multi-modal connectivity for seamless travel, local workforce development for new air and ground-level jobs, and purpose-driven data sharing to respond to the needs of the market.
The principle-based roadmap presented in the report has been developed over the course of 9 months, involving over 50 manufacturers, service providers, infrastructure developers, academics, community organizations and government planners.
UAM is an emerging mode of aviation technology, with vertical takeoff and landing configurations, improvements in energy sources, and improved connectivity. It implicates piloted or autonomous flights of people and the movement of goods in cities.
According to NASA, UAM is likely to be a commercially viable market for air metro services by 2028, assuming the regulations and policies are in place to accommodate it.
“The current pandemic has created new challenges for transport networks and infrastructure around the world. As we build back better, these principles provide an ethical framework for planning new modes of aerial transport at the same time as we reinvest in current forms of transit,” said Christoph Wolff, Head of Shaping the Future of Mobility at the World Economic Forum in a press release announcing the principles.
According to the press release, the Principles of the Urban Sky will be used for implementing UAM in L.A.
Urban Air Mobility and COVID-19
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “Even in the face of COVID-19 today, our eyes are fixed on the horizon of a reimagined tomorrow, where urban air mobility is a central part of a safe, sustainable, equitable future.”
Sikorsky, Hyundai, and Uber were some of the industry participants who contributed to development of the principles.
“Defining the core principles that will underpin an operational framework is an important first step, and as a founding member of the working group we look forward to continuing these important discussions,” said Igor Cherepinsky, director of Sikorsky Innovations.
“These principles demonstrate both the industry and local government’s commitment to work together to realize the potential of sustainable urban aviation,” added Uber Elevate head Eric Allison.