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Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective (2023)

Chapter: Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - Business Case and Implications for Airports." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
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28 Business Case and Implications for Airports UAM may create business development opportunities for an array of entities, including air- port concession areas, garages, MRO providers, airport service providers, and ground-based ride-sharing services. The overall economic impact of UAM remains to be quantified, and key milestones and metrics for tracking public accessibility and affordability also need to be defined. Cost-sharing with urban businesses and risk-sharing present an opportunity to help finance UAM infrastructure and operations. This chapter builds on the market assessment to assist airport practitioners in understanding the motivation behind UAM for airports as well as methods for creating a business case around UAM that includes • Community and stakeholder engagement, including key messages, • Equity considerations, • Implications and guidance for UAM, and • Multimodal integration. 4.1 Business Case for Urban Air Mobility UAM initiatives have garnered a large amount of attention that has attracted both funding and players from different backgrounds, including aviation, the automobile industry, package delivery compa- nies, and entirely new players committed to UAM initiatives’ success. The FAA and NASA have partnered with service providers, OEMs, states, tribal governments, and municipalities to help solve complex problems through the AAM National Campaign and other formal efforts. The AAM Project’s National Campaign promotes public con- fidence and accelerates the realization of emerging aviation markets for passenger and cargo transportation in urban, suburban, rural, and regional environments (NASA 2021b). NASA’s vision is to help emerging aviation markets safely develop an air transportation system that moves people and cargo between places previously not served or currently underserved by aviation. The FAA includes UAM in its planning efforts, which are focused on the following five areas of activity: • Aircraft • Airspace • Operations • Infrastructure • Community C H A P T E R 4 Key Points • What is the business case for UAM? • Ways to engage with the community for UAM • Stakeholder engagement • Funding considerations • Methods to integrate with other multimodal transportation options

Business Case and Implications for Airports 29 In addition, the FAA developed a Concept of Operations (v1.0) for UAM in June 2020 to describe the envisioned operational environment to support the expected growth of flight operations in and around urban areas, which can be a resource for a vision of the future (FAA 2020b). With all the activity surrounding UAM, it is timely for airports to understand UAM initiatives and prepare for or participate in the emerging technologies, depending on interest or readiness level, as identified in the assessment tool. Equally important is to assess the surrounding com- munity and current tenants for interest and potential demand for UAM services, which could include the following: • Additional transportation options • Community mobility centers • Additional package delivery options • Electrification goals for aircraft fleets • Transport of medical supplies and medical staff to a new community Working with cities and economic development organizations can help airport operators understand potential opportunities. Tenants at the airport may also bring opportunities for shared costs. Flight schools may be looking to upgrade their fleets to electric propulsion because of lower operating costs. The same infrastructure needed to charge training fleets can be used for other use cases, including ground support equipment. Sharing the costs of the upgrade can achieve the best return on investment. An assessment of the airport can be beneficial to understand strengths and weaknesses in the infrastructure, electrical capacity, and growth opportunities in preparation for conversations. The market assessment shows significant potential for UAM to be an economic driver at smaller general aviation and regional airports. UAM could bring back operations that these airports may have lost when carriers reduced their flights and routes due to COVID-19. Furthermore, they may once again provide or create new air service to their communities on a larger scale than was possible before. An innovative culture and champions at the airport or city who can assist with the implementation and coordination of UAM at the airports can be helpful. Having the support of someone with a passion for success can help a successful team navigate a nascent and changing regulatory environment. As operations grow, a sustainable workforce and the housing and resources to support them will be important. Housing authorities can be a resource to partner with and can provide understanding and potential opportunities. 4.2 Community Engagement With just 25 percent of consumers admitting their comfort with unmanned aircraft vehicle technology, the widespread adoption of UAM will depend heavily on building public acceptance. Significant planning and coordination across a coalition of stakeholders will be necessary to execute a comprehensive public education and engagement strategy. Community engagement will be essential to provide communication and education on UAM initiatives and the ways the airport can assist as a multimodal hub and be a key player in the community using UAM. It is vitally important to have strong community engagement and provide realistic information about UAM initiatives. Public perception is critical because people act on their perceptions as if they were reality (Liepa-Zemesa and Hess 2016). New innovations raise concerns, and having a real- istic conversation about expectations for UAM that describes the pros and cons can facilitate meaningful discussions with the community to gauge demand, interest, and concerns. Further- more, including the community, keeping them informed, and empowering them to provide feedback can improve chances for success and help prevent costly litigation.

30 Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective Guidance for Operators to Maintain Engagement with Industry and Community Stakeholders, Including Key Messages Multiple barriers exist to community acceptance of UAM, and community engagement will be essential for successful UAM integration (Cohen et al. 2020). Engagement efforts should include realistic conversations with both the public at large and the community of aviation stakeholders on ways that UAM may be of value to urban air transportation and its safety. Furthermore, the literature suggests that community outreach may be a critical part of near-term UAM planning, as early Air Cargo operations are already underway in the United States. Major community integration issues include noise impacts and mitigation, business development oppor- tunities, land-use provisioning, potential environmental considerations, and public comfort with UAM vehicles and flights. Disseminating information and managing expectations will engage the public and communicate the true aspects and opportunities UAM can bring to the community. Community engagement is a field that is constantly changing. With the rise of digital engage- ment strategies (as evidenced in 2020 alone) come new and expanded opportunities to reach populations, raise awareness, and garner feedback. From virtual meetings to online survey software, advanced presentation materials, and many other emerging tools, the opportunities for public engagement are unprecedented. Despite such technological advances, however, the focus of community engagement remains the same. It is and has always been about sitting down at the table (whether in-person or virtually) with members in a community, sharing information on an initiative, and listening to how others may be affected to better mitigate issues and risks or even improve the initiative based on that feedback. Further, community engagement methods are (at the time of this writing), required to be multi-dimensional, combining traditional public outreach (e.g., in-person town halls, newspaper notices, and fliers) with more innovative and emerging outreach efforts (e.g., virtual meeting rooms and online surveys), to best serve all populations regardless of geographic location, culture, background, and technological prowess. Community engagement should be nimble throughout all phases of UAM development, tailoring the approach to the targeted community, individual airport capabilities (whether hub, reliever, or general aviation), and the proper stage of UAM implementation. In addition, a Community Engagement Plan should be developed that allows for the incorporation of new methods and technologies as the years progress. This concept of “building the airplane as we fly” mirrors the possibility (and the unknowns) surrounding UAM. Various messaging examples are provided in Table 9, Table 10, and Table 11. General Messaging Examples Examples of Potential Issues Perceived by the Community Examples of Key Response Messages Noise Visual disturbance (e.g., lack of acclimation to seeing increased aircraft overhead) Privacy concerns (e.g., data security and lower-altitude overhead views of properties) Safety (e.g., passenger safety and crash safety for those on the ground) Environmental impacts (e.g., to wildlife, especially bird and flying insect migration or movement) The safety and security surrounding UAM are of the utmost concern to all parties involved. All aircraft and activities will be regulated and approved for safety, privacy, and security by the FAA, in line with current aviation standards. Accessibility and equity will greatly improve over time. Ensuring the early success of UAM will pave the way for larger-scale aspirations and affordability. Equity concerns (e.g., affordability and neighborhood flight patterns) Time-trade-offs lacking/first- and last-mile issues (e.g., inefficiencies such as long security lines between passenger drop-off and terminal) Terrorism (e.g., cyber security, hazardous materials, and hijacking) Table 9. General messaging examples—community.

Business Case and Implications for Airports 31 Examples of Additional Messaging for Specific Use Cases Examples of Potential Issues Perceived by Key Stakeholders Examples of Key Response Messages Airports Air congestion concerns Lack of electrical or other infrastructure capabilities/ cost to retrofit Security concerns Staffing shortfalls (e.g., new skills and training) UAM operators have no desire to affect current aviation practices, and many opportunities exist for UAM operations in unused or offsite locations. The financial responsibility of upgrading infrastructure will not be solely the airport’s responsibility. There is a large role for private investment in the improvements needed for UAM operations and an expectation that operators will contribute to the financial improvements needed. Airport Type Use Case Key Messaging Hub Air Passenger Mobility Travelers can reduce their commute times to major airports or activity centers; using UAM can also decrease the risk of missing a flight that can arise when driving the long distances often required to reach a hub facility. General Aviation Emergency Services UAM allows more remote communities or destinations a much stronger connection to lifesaving resources, whether the quick response UAM offers an ambulatory service or the ability to quickly get help at the scene of an emergency. General Aviation Package Delivery People living in a more rural community can receive their packages in less time. Instead of days for delivery, it could be 30 minutes to an hour. General Aviation Air Passenger Mobility Living a remote lifestyle should not require a person to sacrifice quality healthcare. UAM can bring doctors and medical supplies to a community in need with much more frequency and greater ease. General Aviation Air Passenger Mobility For underutilized airports, especially those in more rural or remote settings, a lack of activity is a threat to longevity and prosperity. UAM provides many opportunities for the reinvigoration of existing assets. Hub Package Delivery (Medical) Using UAM for the transport of time-sensitive medical cargo that comes off long-haul flights (e.g., organs for transplant) allows a quick departure from a busy hub airport and ensures efficient delivery to the major hospital performing the transplant. Reliever Package Delivery UAM can further the mission of reliever airports in reducing air traffic congestion by easing the distribution of parcels arriving on cargo flights, thereby increasing the number of cargo flights that can land at reliever facilities. Table 10. General messaging examples—stakeholders. Table 11. Specific messaging examples—use cases. Objective and Strategies To mitigate different types of risk and ensure successful messaging for UAM, a team composed of those responsible for implementation and communications (Implementation/Communications Team) should proactively update, inform, and engage the community and be responsive to stake- holders at every step. The most effective public information program anticipates and responds to stakeholders’ information needs, concerns, and desires. Successful execution is critical to establishing credibility and generating public trust. A proactive community engagement effort will ensure that affected communities and stakeholders are provided with the information they

32 Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective need to trust the safety measures, understand the benefits, and accept the presence of UAM in their lives. Strategies to achieve these objectives include the following: • Consistent Communication. Commit to frequent and honest communication, disseminating accurate and easy-to-understand information in multiple languages through the organiza- tion’s appropriate channels. Public safety and mitigating impacts are key components of all communication. • Collaboration. Involve various community groups, transportation network companies (TNCs), elected officials, utility companies, and other key stakeholders in the airport’s planning process to foster a partnership mentality and potentially result in increased economic opportunity for the region, making UAM even more viable. • Leverage Community Connections. Reach an expanded audience by communicating UAM messaging through all project partners (e.g., participating federal, state, and local officials; TNCs; and utility companies), community organizations, major employers, the hospitality and tourism community, other elected officials, and the media, as appropriate. • Active Listening. Elicit regular feedback from local community leaders, maintain open communication lines with critical stakeholder groups, and promote that collaboration in UAM messaging. • Transparency. Earn the community’s trust through transparency and accountability. The foundation for building trust will be the communication of clear and consistent messaging, timely and reliable information, and sharing of progress reports to track advancements and results throughout the UAM implementation. • Issue Resolution. Address issues promptly before they can escalate. The Implementation/ Communications Team will communicate with empathy and positivity to resolve issues where feasible and/or promote the long-term benefits of UAM. Tactics When planning for community engagement for UAM initiatives, informing and engaging the public at multiple points in the phases of implementation can be beneficial. Successful engagement is critical to bring innovative thinking and ideas from the public and facilitate active participation in multiple phases (e.g., during the planning process or when a new service or new infrastructure is added). Social Media. Social media is a primary source of news for many people; therefore, it is essential to use this medium to reach the public in their daily lives. Social media is an oppor- tunity to inform and engage with the public/stakeholders and foster a sense of community sur- rounding the incorporation of UAM in the region. Messages should be tailored to each audience and for each platform. The use of media, such as photos and especially video, is typically most effective. Additionally, social media is an optimal vehicle for engagement because strategies and content can easily be altered if they do not have the desired outcome. Stakeholder Meetings/Presentations. Engage with the community early and often regarding UAM efforts. Offer meetings and presentations in both in-person and virtual formats as feasible. Use engagement tools such as Mentimeter, Whiteboards, and Poll Everywhere to transform virtual meetings into more engaging experiences that generate useful feedback and allow participants to feel heard and be a part of the process. UAM Tours for Key Stakeholders/Elected Officials/Public. Offer tours that provide real-life experiences of the aircraft and/or flight as feasible (further into UAM development); physically illustrating the benefits of UAM is a valuable tool for gaining the support of key stakeholders, such as elected officials and the public.

Business Case and Implications for Airports 33 Community Events. When feasible, host attractive and fun community events such as ice cream socials, concerts, carnivals, and 5Ks to showcase that the airport is a good partner with the community and that bringing a value-add to the community through UAM will increase mobility, stimulate the economy, and further environmental benefits. Phone and/or Email Hotline. Give the public an opportunity to provide comments and ask questions through a “Contact Us” form on a UAM-specific website page and/or general airport website section. Additionally, provide a phone number the public can call with any issues or questions. Website. Incorporate UAM operations-related content such as project mission, background, frequently asked questions, other collateral (i.e., infographics, fact sheets, and videos), and contact information on a designated webpage promoted via the airport’s main homepage and other advertising materials. E-newsletters. Include UAM efforts in existing newsletters of the airport organization or offer a spin-off newsletter option for those who are interested. Media Relations. Engage the media with traditional outreach (e.g., well-crafted press releases) and offer advance access to experiences and information. Further, use the media to cover other outreach efforts such as events by offering unique experiences to the community and/or sharing the human impact of the story (e.g., how UAM will affect a specific group or person, the economic benefits, the time saved, and so on). Disseminate a unified message about UAM’s benefits and objectives and keep the public informed about milestones reached or meetings, community events, or activities related to or sponsored by the UAM-specific airport initiative. Collateral Materials. Develop maps, fact sheets, infographics, frequently asked questions, fliers or postcards, and other elements using cohesive and visually appealing branding to high- light the goals/benefits of the initiative. Informational Promo Video. Develop an informational video about the initiative to showcase the benefits of UAM, humanize the effort in the specific community through expert interviews or sharing human experiences, and provide answers to likely questions from the public. Video is the most effective online communication medium. Informational Campaign. Before operations, make a concentrated effort to inform the community about the initiative via paid media such as social media advertisements, billboards, direct-mail postcards, and newspaper ads, so the public knows what to expect. Public Opinion Surveys. Use software such as SurveyMonkey or MetroQuest to keep track of the community’s perception of the initiative as UAM unfolds and to gauge future outreach efforts. The plan must be flexible enough to shift if a message is not resonating or a tactic is not effective. Focus Groups. Create organized focus groups, particularly in the early stages, that bring together community leaders and TNCs to prioritize objectives, determine the most effective communications efforts, and further identify the risks specific to each community involved. Equity Equity is at the forefront of civic dialogue that is inspiring accountability in institutions and individuals. Delivering equity is a practice, not an expertise; it requires continual learning. In the

34 Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective new mobility era of private mass transportation for daily trips, private companies must con- sider public goals to determine how operations, partnerships, and policies can achieve equity. The following services will support accountability and cultural competency from go-to-market through scaling to critical mass: Travel Demand Assessment. Practitioners need to assess and understand the travel patterns of local markets and, accordingly, develop market archetypes for travel demand. Origin-destination data, mobility systems, and demographic analysis need to inform the archetypes. For example, while major metropolitan cities like San Francisco represent a mobility innovation hub, it is important to understand the origins of commuters who work in the city and consider the implications of what happens when housing costs displace workers to more affordable suburban bedroom communities or to areas that do not have the population density to support fixed-route transportation, as well as other factors that reinforce the car culture straining United States infrastructure. This information is valuable in informing pilot routes and understanding how to scale access and connectivity to other travel modes. Anti-Displacement Strategies. When assessing site selection, planners should develop equity evaluation criteria and a neighborhood change assessment methodology to guide the decision-making process to ensure UAM is adding value to communities without the displace- ment that the addition of transportation often has on market values. These strategies will also help airports build trust and partnerships with public partners and the community. Evaluation Criteria These criteria support site selection that preserves land optimal for affordable housing, green infrastructure, or job growth and consider the impact of site selection on traffic flow and Vision Zero—ensuring that equity is an integral part of determining site selection, and prudent for airport practitioners to coordinate with city, county, or metropolitan planning organization (MPO) short-term and horizon plans or goals. Neighborhood Change Assessment Methodology Airport practitioners should also understand how entry into the market affects communities. A neighborhood change assessment could identify measurable demographics and conditions to establish a baseline of diversity and quality of life to measure stability over time. In addition, to support alternative delivery strategies and infrastructure planning, airport practitioners should facilitate stakeholder coordination to build and sustain consensus. The value of these efforts is to support a larger adaptable model that can be used in multiple markets to stabilize costs for go-to-market. Community-based Organization Partnerships Opportunities exist to coordinate with public agencies to develop UAM policies. Creating seats for select community-based organizations to help inform policies and paying them for their contributions is another strategy. Community and agency partnerships can also support equitable local workforce develop- ment with green job training and positions, prioritizing people of color. This effort will have a generational impact by providing a job for the moment and a career that earns a livable wage and offers transferable experience. Considerations for an equitable workforce development model were informed by a literature review and interviews with organizations successfully practicing similar models.

Business Case and Implications for Airports 35 Employer Partnerships Aerial shared mobility services will experience different phases as they scale from a novelty for those with the privilege to an affordable alternative for everyday people, similar to public transit. Along the spectrum, it may be helpful to explore employer partnerships with public agencies as a pathway to provide early access to everyday people. This model has worked successfully for other privately operated mass rideshare options, like vanpools or car fleets. Employer partner- ships can create opportunities for demonstration sites and pilot subsidy programs. Hosting employer focus groups in target markets nationally will help explore the feasibility and inform the scope of a partnership model, while stakeholder workshops will engage public partners in the conversation. These core concepts can lay the foundation for exploring equity in aerial innovation as the mobility solution scales. An equity framework to assist airports as they plan for UAM is illustrated in Figure 5. 4.3 Implications and Guidance for Urban Air Mobility at Airports UAM initiatives could be a timely opportunity for areas where there are efforts to close air- ports. One issue lies in how to facilitate the needed infrastructure to support UAM operations. Key areas that must be addressed are • Funding, • Vertiports, • Charging facilities, • Ground support equipment, • Cargo facilitation, • Changes to lease agreements, • Last-mile transportation facilitation, • Weather systems, and • Land use. Another issue for consideration in the business case for UAM is that larger airports may not have the capacity to facilitate new operations without innovative solutions if located on the airside of the airport. If an airport is already at capacity with current operations for land Figure 5. UAM equity framework.

36 Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective use and airspace, it may be difficult to add aircraft with less passenger capacity. OEMs indicate a positive outlook regarding the ability to coexist with and not disrupt current operations at airports, suggesting that larger hubs, reliever airports, and nearby vertiports can participate in UAM operations. Other considerations include planning for UAM package deliveries from both medical and other sources, which may require additional security, storage, and handling procedures. Routing these deliveries on the ground and in the air on a mass scale without conflicts with other users in the same airspace may require innovative solutions. The scale of package deliveries, and the size of the system necessary to support them, could be staggering. It is estimated that a city the size of Los Angeles has approximately 250,000 packages delivered per day. Furthermore, UPS has reported roughly 18.3 million deliveries per day in the United States (Lohn 2017). While not all these packages would be delivered by UAM, these facts illustrate the potential scale of package delivery and the complexity of integration between all users in the airspace and at airports. Funding Considerations The question of funding the integration of UAM at airports always arises, although many funding possibilities exist. Many airports struggle to find adequate funding for additional projects beyond pavement preservation. As airport operations change over time, plans must include an associated mechanism to capture additional revenue streams to support needed infrastructure. Additional revenue can come from the increased airport operations, drawing on concessions, charging fees, user fees, and landing fees. Public-private partnerships may be another option. OEMs indicate that fully private funding is a viable option to begin operations for airports that fit their business needs. Many airports have had success with these models. However, it is imperative to fully consider the legal and other implications when entering into these agreements, such as • Responsibilities for safety, security, and economic oversight; • Risk evaluation; • Proprietary charging equipment versus standardized; • Revenues and differing regulations surrounding each; • Increases in user fees; • Environmental issues; and • The particular public-private partnerships model for management, concessions, privatization, and developer financing. Changes to state and federal programs to support UAM may be another viable option for funding. The most likely option for funding infrastructure will be a combination of funding sources. Regardless of funding, the research team identified the following additional consider- ations that are essential to evaluate in the near term to determine their capabilities to support UAM operations: • Space constraints and availability to build new facilities • Long-term lease agreements not favorable to new operations • Changes in existing lease agreements • Time and funding to redevelop the property to accommodate the demand for UAM operations • Land-use analysis based on economic development potential • Project benefit analysis • Staffing requirements • Procurement requirements • Contractual authority to procure services • Federal, state, and local regulation review regarding UAM operations • Business model structure for the airport to support current and future changes

Business Case and Implications for Airports 37 The UAM industry is evolving. Changing regulations, vehicles, operational requirements, maintenance, and existing infrastructure create a challenging environment in which to plan and build new infrastructure. Noise, zoning, land-use restrictions, and current lease agreements may also slow down progress for airports. Although UAM has substantial momentum, airports face a significant risk associated with the loss of revenue from fuel taxes. A self-sustaining airport system requires a revenue collection system. Potential methods to collect such revenue include electrical generation from solar farms or other green technologies, sub-metering electricity, user fees, landing fees, or a combination of these methods. Smaller airports also have the potential to serve as a microgrid, serving as a ground transportation vehicle-charging multimodal hub for the community, which could bring jobs and revenue to the airport. FAA and NASA Coordination The prospect of manned and unmanned aircraft operating in close proximity raises the risk to safety and hence the demand for an entirely new approach to air traffic management (ATM). NASA and the FAA have created working groups and an AAM portal (NASA 2021b) to accel- erate the development of safe, high-volume UAM flight operations by bringing together a broad community to help develop plans to integrate aircraft into the National Airspace System. The working groups are divided into four areas, including aircraft, airspace, community integration, and crosscutting. These areas are further organized into five “pillars” as illustrated in Figure 6. Within the pillars, airports can find specific information related to each area including • Vehicle Development and Production, • Individual Vehicle Management and Operations, • Airspace System Design and Implementation, • Airspace and Fleet Operations Management, and • Community Integration. Source: NASA 2021b. Figure 6. NASA AAM working group pillars.

38 Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective Airports interested in UAM operations should read the NASA AAM working group materials and attend the corresponding workshops to understand the activity around UAM and offer their expertise and opinions for the integration of UAM in this changing and developing environ- ment. The latest information can be found on the NASA Aeronautics Research Institute website for Advanced Air Mobility. In addition to the workgroup efforts, the FAA has released a Concept of Operations v1.0 (FAA 2020b) that defines how operations will function inside and outside UAM corridors for safe integration (Figure 7). The environments for these corridors incorporate the following parameters: • Inside UAM corridors – All aircraft operate under UAM-specific rules, procedures, and performance requirements, – Fixed-wing aircraft and UTM aircraft cross UAM corridors, – Helicopters and UAM aircraft operate within or cross UAM corridors, and – Operations do not vary with airspace class. • Outside UAM corridors, operations adhere to relevant ATM and UTM rules based on operation type, airspace class, and altitude. While this is a first step in defining airspace integration, it shows how air traffic may function in the National Airspace System. While the illustration is a general overview, more decisions are needed to determine if operations will be on the airside or landside of airports or a com- bination. The consensus seems to favor operations in both environments, depending on the location of vertiports and their proximity to the airport. UAM operations also raise complex Source: FAA 2020b. Figure 7. UAM, ATM, and UTM operating environments.

Business Case and Implications for Airports 39 questions surrounding airspace and how these operations at scale will function at towered and non-towered airports. For near-term instrument operations in all weather conditions, existing airports would be an attractive solution because they have protected airspace, which may be the most viable solution in the near term. It may be necessary to have additional weather resources and reports for low-altitude airspace. Furthermore, because of the variability in weather across regions, UAM service providers may consider mixed fleets of aircraft platforms to address this variability (Reiche, Cohen, and Fernando 2021). For vertiports in an urban environment, the larger final approach and take-off (FATO) areas may prove prohibitive for instrument flights, requiring additional regulation changes and procedures to procure smaller footprints. Ultimately, this is where the voice of airports and their understanding of the airport environ- ment will be critical as these problems are solved. Coordinating with the FAA, FHWA, state and city regulators, and other key players will require a collaborative approach for success. Many of the current agencies have worked in silos. The multimodal aspect of UAM will require collaboration to solve past transportation mistakes and foster an environment conducive to solving future transportation problems. Insurance Considerations and plans should include insurance demands for a new industry. With new technology come questions about the safety and risks for UAM passengers, Air Cargo, and Emergency Services. Safety is paramount for aviation and must be at the forefront to continue the strong safety record that has been established over the life cycle of aviation. Safety consid- erations include operations as well as ground support equipment and charging components. The new components and operations will require additional training and regulations to ensure the safety of employees. Because insurance is risk-averse and without precedence for UAM, it is hard to determine an appropriate rate to charge for a policy. Lack of precedence will result in higher rates until the industry can determine an appropriate risk model. 4.4 Multimodal Integration Multiple efforts are underway for UAM, connected automated vehicles, electric vehicle- charging stations, smart cities, micromobility, mass transit, and other economic drivers. Airports may not be included or involved in these conversations. As technology advances, commonalities may emerge between efforts that could be developed more efficiently across multiple modes. It would be beneficial for airports to coordinate efforts with political officials, city and departments of transportation planners, state aeronautics divisions, MPOs, associations of governments, transit agencies, and other stakeholders to identify common goals for UAM, multimodal inte- gration, electric vehicle charging, and smart city initiatives. For UAM to work efficiently, it must be integrated into a multimodal system (see Figure 8). Seamless mobility connections are essential for people arriving at the airport and traveling to their destinations. UAM users will expect airport infrastructure to support and provide multiple mobility options, reduce delays when shifting from one mode to another, and ensure reliable mobility. Mobility options that must be considered include personal transportation, transit, microtransit, and other shared mobility or automated shared mobility, each with multiple modal connectivity options. Additional mobility options could include electric vehicles, auto- mated vehicles, or connected vehicles that are personal or shared. Electric micromobility options include e-scooters, e-mopeds, and e-bikes. Emergency personnel traveling alone or with their equipment require different modal choices; their goal is to get to their destination quickly and safely, with little or no room for error.

40 Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective Airport mobility options must support the unique needs of these travelers. Transit and micro- transit vehicles are typically owned and operated by local transit agencies, while other shared mobility services are owned and operated by private companies. To provide users with seam- less mobility options, coordination between the airport, transit agencies, and private mobility providers is essential. Planning for Infrastructure to Support Multimodal Options To identify the appropriate infrastructure necessary to support users’ multimodal needs, it is first necessary to understand the larger context of those needs. For example, the importance of time for the user (e.g., in cases where they are dealing with an emergency) and their comfort level in using different mobility options will inform their mobility choices. Other decision drivers may also include baggage, safety, and cost. Early infrastructure planning should consider the mobility and accessibility needs of people of all ages and abilities. Community input on mobility needs should be solicited during the early mobility planning phases through outreach and engagement. Inclusive design such as multilingual mobile applications and street signage, accessible applications for the cognitively disabled, call-a-ride alternatives to a mobile application, and other accommodations must be incorporated. Airport infrastructure needs to support evolving user demand, consumer trends, and expec- tations, and reflect the surrounding context—urban, suburban, or rural. Taking the airport context into consideration will ensure that the planned infrastructure is fiscally sustainable while meeting user demand and needs. The recommended mobility modes are based on the airport context (see Figure 9). Once the appropriate and necessary infrastructure at an airport is identified, the airport must coordinate with transit agencies and private mobility providers. The airport must work to implement offsite improvements like traffic signals and on-site improvements like dedicated curb space, a multimodal transfer facility, and electric charging facilities for electric micromobility Figure 8. Multimodal options connecting people to and from the airport.

Business Case and Implications for Airports 41 and other electric vehicles. Targeted investments in surrounding communities using community feedback as a guide can help achieve equitable outcomes. Integrated mobility services and payment platforms with the option to reserve or book services ahead of time from the point of origin to the destination will provide seamless mobility, which is expected and desired by emergency and non-emergency UAM users. Targeted education and outreach to the surrounding community, particularly in low-income and disadvantaged communities, will reduce entry and adoption barriers to new mobility options and integrated technology. One of the key challenges will be to integrate all modes seamlessly and strive toward a more efficient integration that often is lacking in the current transportation system. Integration with Parking Facilities Parking facilities may be an untapped resource for creating vertiports to better integrate with other modes of transportation to create a transportation node. Many forward-thinking clients, public and private, are evaluating the potential to locate air taxis and freight drones on rooftop levels of new garages, usually with other amenities, such as green space and public gathering/viewing areas. For this to work, a basic evaluation includes the following considerations: • Ensuring the structural requirements are satisfied, not only for air taxis/drones but also for rooftop space that may be classified as public assembly space under current codes. Structural requirements for public assembly space are far more conservative than those required for parking structures. Figure 9. Considerations to implement multimodal connections.

42 Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective • Incorporating adequate electrical capacity into garage designs to provide charging for aircraft. This should be a simpler process because many new garages are incorporating electric vehicle- charging capabilities, although UAM would be an added layer of infrastructure. • Including freight elevators so that drone freight can be delivered to the grade level by elevator where distribution could occur by OEMs to avoid designing for delivery vehicles circulating within the garage. • Providing a passenger and pilot waiting area on the rooftop, which could be located at grade or in another area of the garage. Likewise, bathroom facilities and food/drink amenities will likely be necessary. • Assessing crash safety needs—making sure the aircraft pad is large and robust enough to with- stand a “crash.” The definition of a crash incident for vehicle types would need to be created. Changes in land-use regulations and codes will most likely be required to accommodate the needs of an air taxi/drone operation on a garage rooftop. However, defining the design criteria and specifications for unique air taxi type/drone operations will be required to modify regulations. Existing Garages Garage rooftops in older garages are more difficult to assess. While a typical due-diligence process can be conducted to determine the design and structural integrity of the building, a more expansive analysis is required to determine if the garage can accommodate an air taxi/ drone station. Some older garages were designed to higher code requirements than exist today and may be easier to modify structurally (i.e., maintaining existing foundations). However, the feasibility of a garage to accommodate air taxi/drone operations will depend on an understand- ing of the specific design requirements related to aircraft type, size, weight, and capacity, which will vary by manufacturer and model type. While there is no doubt that almost any garage can be structurally fortified to accommodate the aircraft pad and rooftop operations, the question is the feasibility. Are more structural columns required, and more importantly, are foundations adequate? These questions cannot be addressed until specific criteria for the aircraft prototype and operations are proposed for a building. Airport Organizational and Training Requirements For the sake of operational efficiency and resiliency, certain stakeholders not directly involved with UAM and the ground operations of electric aircraft might benefit from a basic understand- ing of these operations. Also, the emergence of UAM will create new stakeholders who should be integrated into existing operational procedures and real-time processes. ACRP Research Report 229: Airport Collaborative Decision Making (ACDM) to Manage Adverse Conditions provides information on the importance of stakeholder awareness, as well as guidance to develop joint training and operate under collaborative decision making (Bris et al. 2021). UAM introduces new technologies and operations that are quite different from conventional air transportation. To ensure the smooth operations of UAM, the staff involved will need specific training, because the new aircraft will possess new operating conditions and procedures. For instance, the ground personnel or ground support crew are mainly responsible for attending to and handling the UAM aircraft when it is on the ground. It will be necessary to train the ground support personnel, specifically on safely and efficiently handling the aircraft, including recharging, refueling, or replacing electric batteries and hydrogen tanks. ACRP Research Report 236: Preparing Your Airport for Electric Aircraft and Hydrogen Tech- nologies further discusses training and education needs for airport operations stakeholders as part of the introduction of electric aircraft and hydrogen technologies.

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Urban Air Mobility (UAM), or its generalized version, Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), is an emerging aerial transportation approach that involves the operation of highly automated aircraft for a safe and efficient system to transport passengers or cargo at lower altitudes of airspace within urban, suburban, and exurban areas. UAM initiatives are advancing in many communities and will likely bring many societal changes.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Research Report 243: Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective provides a comprehensive examination of the emerging UAM industry, with a particular focus on its impacts and opportunities for airports.

Supplemental to the report are an Airport AAM Preparation Checklist and a UAM Airport Assessment Toolkit.

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