National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Advancing Aerial Mobility: A National Blueprint. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25646.
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ADVANCING
AERIAL
MOBILITY

A National Blueprint

Committee on Enhancing Air Mobility—A National Blueprint

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

A Consensus Study Report of

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Advancing Aerial Mobility: A National Blueprint. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25646.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This study is based on work supported by Contract NNH16CD01B with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any agency or organization that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-67026-5
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-67026-8
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25646

Cover: Design by Karl Tate.

Copies of this publication are available free of charge from

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Copyright 2020 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Advancing Aerial Mobility: A National Blueprint. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25646.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Advancing Aerial Mobility: A National Blueprint. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25646.
×

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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Advancing Aerial Mobility: A National Blueprint. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25646.
×

Image

Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Advancing Aerial Mobility: A National Blueprint. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25646.
×

COMMITTEE ON ENHANCING AIR MOBILITY—A NATIONAL BLUEPRINT

NICHOLAS D. LAPPOS, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, Chair

ELLA M. ATKINS, University of Michigan

JAMES G. BELLINGHAM, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

ATHERTON A. CARTY, Lockheed Martin Corporation

DANIEL DELAURENTIS, Purdue University

NANCY G. LEVESON, NAE,1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

GEORGE T. LIGLER, NAE, GTL Associates and North Carolina State University

LOURDES Q. MAURICE, DLM Global Strategies

PAUL E. McDUFFEE, The Boeing Company

VINEET MEHTA, Systems & Technology Research

CONSTANTINE SAMARAS, Carnegie Mellon University

PETER SHANNON, Radius Capital

Staff

DWAYNE A. DAY, Senior Program Officer, Study Director

COLLEEN HARTMAN, Director, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and Space Studies Board

DANIEL NAGASAWA, Associate Program Officer

GAYBRIELLE HOLBERT, Program Assistant

___________________

1 Member, National Academy of Engineering.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Advancing Aerial Mobility: A National Blueprint. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25646.
×

AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD

ALAN H. EPSTEIN, NAE,1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair

BRIAN M. ARGROW, University of Colorado, Boulder

STEVEN J. BATTEL, NAE, Battel Engineering

MEYER J. BENZAKEIN, NAE, Ohio State University

EILEEN M. COLLINS, Space Presentations, LLC

EDWARD F. CRAWLEY, NAE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MICHAEL P. DELANEY, Boeing Commercial Airplanes

KAREN FEIGH, Georgia Institute of Technology

ILAN KROO, NAE, Stanford University

ANDREW LACHER, The Boeing Company

NICHOLAS D. LAPPOS, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company

MARK J. LEWIS, IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute

VALERIE MANNING, Airbus

RICHARD McKINNEY, Consultant

PAMELA A. MELROY, Melroy and Hollett Technology Partners, LLC

PARVIZ MOIN, NAS2/NAE, Stanford University

JOHN M. OLSON, Polaris Industries

ELLEN M. PAWLIKOWSKI, NAE, United States Air Force (ret.)

ROBIE I. SAMANTA ROY, Lockheed Martin Corporation

WANDA A. SIGUR, NAE, Consultant

ALAN M. TITLE, NAS/NAE, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center

DAVID M. VAN WIE, NAE, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

SHERRIE L. ZACHARIUS, Aerospace Corporation

Staff

COLLEEN HARTMAN, Director

ANDREA REBHOLZ, Administrative Coordinator

TANJA PILZAK, Manager, Program Operations

CELESTE A. NAYLOR, Information Management Associate

MEG A. KNEMEYER, Financial Officer

___________________

1 Member, National Academy of Engineering.

2 Member, National Academy of Sciences.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Advancing Aerial Mobility: A National Blueprint. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25646.
×

Preface

In 2018, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to undertake a study to evaluate the potential benefits and challenges associated with advanced aerial mobility, an emerging technological development that can be simultaneously transformative and disruptive for the nation’s aviation infrastructure and industry. Although the statement of task referred to “urban air mobility,” while this study was under way the aviation community—and NASA itself—increasingly used the term “advanced aerial mobility,” of which “urban air mobility” is considered a subset (albeit the most challenging one). The committee therefore chose to use advanced aerial mobility to capture the broader range of opportunities and operations that are being discussed.

The National Academies formed a committee that met three times between spring and fall 2019. This is a dynamic subject that was changing as the committee was finalizing its report and even during the report’s review. Nevertheless, the committee sought to provide findings and recommendations that will help NASA and others in the aviation community foster an environment in which the nation can maintain its leadership in developing, deploying, and embracing new technology that opens up new opportunities. Whether through drone delivery of goods in urban environments, linking rural areas to population centers through passenger and cargo aviation, or an entirely new method of passenger travel within a metropolis and its surrounding areas, advanced aerial mobility can make aviation a part of daily life.

Such benefits do not come without challenges. This committee also sought to ensure that the foreseen problems that will inevitably arise from such cutting-edge technologies can be mitigated during development and that the unforeseen problems are discovered through processes established to safely test vehicles and methods of operation. By addressing these problems proactively in collaboration with other federal agencies, NASA can facilitate the integration of advanced aerial mobility into the national airspace infrastructure safely and with minimal negative impact on general aviation and the public-at-large.

It is the goal of this committee that this report reflects both the forward-thinking optimism and the caution that such a transformative technology merits.

Nick Lappos, Chair
Committee on Enhancing Air Mobility—A National Blueprint

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Advancing Aerial Mobility: A National Blueprint. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25646.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Advancing Aerial Mobility: A National Blueprint. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25646.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Anita K. Jones, NAE, University of Virginia, and Brian Argrow, University of Colorado, Boulder. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

___________________

1 Member, National Academy of Engineering.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Advancing Aerial Mobility: A National Blueprint. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25646.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Advancing Aerial Mobility: A National Blueprint. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25646.
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Advanced aerial mobility is a newly emerging industry that aims to develop and operate new air vehicles potentially capable of safe, reliable, and low-noise vertical flight. The world has seen a recent increase in the adoption of electric vertical lift aircraft for urban, suburban and rural operations. These new innovations and technologies change the way that we move cargo and people, affecting industries across the economy. These changes will challenge today's airspace monitoring systems and regulatory environment. The U.S. government and its regulatory agencies need technical guidance to facilitate the development of these technologies, and to create the regulatory framework to foster the growth of this vertical flight industry to the benefit of the aviation industry.

Advancing Aerial Mobility evaluates the potential benefits and challenges associated with this emerging industry. This report provides recommendations that seek to foster an environment in which the nation can maintain its leading position in developing, deploying, and embracing these new technologies. This publication presents a national vision for advanced aerial mobility, market evolution, and safety and security management.

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