The FAA is including AAM and UAM in our planning efforts, and our work is organized around five areas of activity – aircraft, airspace, operations, infrastructure, and community.
The FAA is collaborating with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on their Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign.
In June 2020, FAA developed and shared the UAM Concept of Operations (ConOps) version 1.0 with both internal and external stakeholders (PDF).
With the number of people living in urban areas increasing by around 3 percent each decade, transport in urban areas is expected to become even more challenging than it is today.
Urban Air Mobility is a new air transportation system for passengers and cargo in and around densely populated and built environments, made possible by vertical take-off and landing electric aircraft (eVTOL) equipped with new technologies such as enhanced battery technologies and electric propulsion. These aircraft will have a pilot on board or be remotely piloted multimodal transportation systems. The transportation is performed by electric aircraft taking off and landing vertically, remotely piloted or with a pilot on board
Commercial operations in EU cities are expected to start around 2025 with delivery of goods by drones or transport of passengers by piloted aircraft
Some UAM operations are already taking place in third countries, for instance for the delivery of goods or of medical equipment.
In Europe, UAM solutions are currently being tested through pilot projects and demonstrators. Commercial UAM operations in the EU could happen within 3 to 5 years.
Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is expected to create environmental benefits as well as advantages for citizen and businesses – related to commercial as well as emergency use cases.
Citizens’ acceptance and future UAM users’ confidence will be essential to the successful deployment of Urban Air Mobility in Europe.
EASA conducted a comprehensive study on the societal acceptance of UAM operations across the European Union.
The study was carried out over a period of six months from November 2020 until May 2021. It included thorough research, literature review, urban market analysis, a quantitative survey, a qualitative survey and a detailed noise test. Around 4000 residents from 6 major cities / regions were consulted:
*Öresund region: Denmark & Sweden: Copenhagen, Hillerod, Helsingor, Malmo & Lund
EASA regulatory activities
The Agency has started creating the UAM regulatory framework, building notably on the results of 2021 UAM study on societal acceptance. Some building blocks have already been achieved:
On airworthiness, EASA has been the first in the world to publish in July 2019 a Special Condition to authorise small VTOL aircraft operations, in 2020 for Light Unmanned Aircraft Systems operating in medium risk situations, and in 2021 Guidelines on the design verification of UAS operating in the specific category
On operations and pilot licencing, in early 2019 it has launched preparatory activities that will lead to rules for the pilots/remote pilots of these vehicles, their operators and for the infrastructure, e.g. vertiport operators
On airspace integration, EASA has prepared a worlds-first U-Space/UTM regulatory package (Commission Implementing regulations 2021/664, 2021/665 & 2021/666, adopted by the European Commission on 22 of April 2021; this package will become applicable early 2023 and will enable the safe integration of UAS operations in urban environment
On the R&D side, EASA is also engaged in a large number of projects (AMU-LED; SAFIR-Med; CORUS-XUAM; AirMour and EASA may get involved in other additional ones such as GOF 2.0; TINDAIR; Uspace4UAM); it has also signed the Manifesto (of several cities) of the UAM initiatives by European cities (EU Smart Cities Marketplace)