National Academies Press: OpenBook

Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective (2023)

Chapter: Chapter 7 - Airport Assessment Toolkit

« Previous: Chapter 6 - Planning Strategies for Integrating Urban Air Mobility into Airports
Page 88
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Airport Assessment Toolkit." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
×
Page 88
Page 89
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Airport Assessment Toolkit." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
×
Page 89
Page 90
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Airport Assessment Toolkit." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
×
Page 90
Page 91
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Airport Assessment Toolkit." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
×
Page 91
Page 92
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Airport Assessment Toolkit." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
×
Page 92
Page 93
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Airport Assessment Toolkit." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
×
Page 93
Page 94
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Airport Assessment Toolkit." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
×
Page 94
Page 95
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Airport Assessment Toolkit." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26899.
×
Page 95

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

88 Airport Assessment Toolkit This assessment toolkit is designed to help airport practitioners understand their readiness to prepare for AAM and directs the user to the resources in the Guide that will provide the greatest benefit for advancing capability maturity. Once completed, the tool provides an assessment and recommendation for a Go/No-Go decision. The tools are separated into the following categories of airports to help assess the differing needs of each type of airport: • Hub • Reliever/General Aviation Urban • General Aviation Suburban • General Aviation Rural The assessment is a straightforward process of systematically evaluating the airport’s capabilities concerning three key areas: awareness, readiness, and infrastructure. The tool was patterned after the Capability Maturity Framework (Mallela et al. 2020), which assesses readiness across three levels to assist airports in determining the extent they are positioned to evaluate and poten- tially adopt UAM initiatives at their facility. The user considers the criteria under each of the matrix’s three levels and selects the level that most closely describes their level of readiness. For example, a user may consider all three criteria for a particular question and decide which aspects of readiness best apply to their current situation. 7.1 The Go/No-Go Decision Once the assessment is completed, the tool will calculate a weighted score based on the inputs from the participant to provide a Go/No-Go decision. These scores help the airport identify gaps to determine its base level of readiness. The level of readiness is categorized into the following four levels to help determine a path forward for UAM integration at this stage. • “No-Go”: Decide not to advance UAM initiatives now because of a. Insufficient interest, b. Insufficient capability, c. Insufficient resources, d. Inability to overcome barriers, e. Inability to mitigate risks to an acceptable level, and f. Some or all of the above. While the final decision rests with multiple decision-makers, it is essential to understand the consequences and ramifications of not advancing or preparing for UAM integration. There may be multiple reasons, including little to no demand for services, distance from activity centers, political or community resistance, limited funding, lack of a workforce to support UAM initiatives, or other reasons. A “No-Go” may be a viable solution for some airports because C H A P T E R 7

Airport Assessment Toolkit 89 it may not be feasible to incorporate UAM at this time. If it is determined that the assessment level is a No-Go because of a lack of information, it will be prudent to study the associated areas in the guidance document. The guidance document will inform ways to improve readi- ness and understand how technology is changing to assist with future preparation if/when a decision is made to move forward with UAM goals. • “Not-now”: This decision implies it may not be the most prudent time to incorporate UAM. It will be beneficial to continue to monitor the progress of UAM development and applications elsewhere. It will be in the best interest of an airport to read the sections on the guidance docu- ment to understand the factors that led to a “not-now” decision and revisit the decision when circumstances warrant it. The airports should also include a discussion of the consequences and ramifications of not proceeding with UAM initiatives at this time and an indication of when revisiting would be prudent. • “Slow-go”: Decide to advance toward UAM integration but for some combination of the initiatives. Do so at an “evolutionary” pace by naturally incorporating areas that best benefit the airport. For example, upgrading the electrical grid may be beneficial to support electrifi- cation efforts for future vehicles and ground support equipment, which also supports UAM. Other beneficial areas are identifying ways to diversify revenue sources to prepare for less revenue from petrol-based fuel sources. Ideally, integrate the use cases into the airport’s practices as it becomes relatively mainstream and prudent for the airport to adopt to mitigate risk. Include a discussion of the consequences and ramifications of a “slow-go” decision. • “Go-now”: Decide to expeditiously advance with UAM initiatives for the airport, including an expedited testing and evaluation phase, potentially in collaboration with others interested in advancing it within the airport sector. Even with a Go-now readiness level, it may not be prudent to incorporate all use cases at one time. It will be beneficial to look at each use case individually and select the best matches for now and the future. When assessing each use case, ensure to evaluate both the impacts and opportunities for each decision. The next step will be to create a plan for an efficient way to incorporate these use cases into the airport as directed by the guidance document. 7.2 Improving Readiness Levels The questions were created to provoke thoughts and provide an understanding to expand oper- ations and opportunities for airports. The assessment provides an initial base for understanding the current capability to identify potential gaps in information and capability. Understanding these areas is the first step in the process of readiness for UAM. The report is not the final step; it is only a base from which to start. In addition to the report, it is important to document the areas where the score was below level 3. Once the areas are defined, each question provides a reference to sections within the Guide to help better understand the topics and ways to prepare. From the initial assessment, airport practitioners can then read the associated material to evaluate if that topic may be feasible in the near- or long-term forecast. To evaluate further, the items could then be scored on the following: • Scale of impact • Plausibility • Benefits • Risk • Challenges Table 22 (adapted from Mallela et al. 2020) provides an example set of recommended, generalized actions for an example assessment question. Using this template for each question and populating it with relevant data can help identify and develop the action plan necessary to advance to the next level of readiness. Two important items required to advance readiness from one level to the next are knowledge and collaboration.

90 Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective Table 22. Required Action Framework template. Critical Success Factor Component Potential Target (Level 3) Suggested Actions Awareness of UAM Does the airport understand UAM (e.g., FAA and NASA UAM initiatives, OEM and service provider partnerships, electrification of aviation initiatives, and alternative aviation approaches being developed and tested)? High level of awareness and a keen interest in closely following fundamental and applied research and development in this area. Develop, maintain, and leverage awareness of the context of UAM initiatives. • Track the state of practice via electronic and print media, conference attendance, committee participation, and peer dialogues. • Develop and maintain an approach to assessing the applicability of the practice to existing airport practices, their current performance and efficacy, and efforts to improve on them. Has there been any coordination with city and DOT planners, state aeronautics, MPOs, AOGs, transit agencies, and other stakeholders to identify common goals for UAM, multimodal integration, or smart city initiatives? Formal coordination mechanisms are in place that tap into expertise and experience beyond the airport community in relation to UAM. Collaborate and share knowledge with peers, and identify opportunities to share risks associated with advancing the practice. • Identify logical and efficient areas for collaboration. • Identify appropriate peers and forums through which transportation agencies and academic peers interact and share knowledge. • Consider the relevant roles and activities of DOT, FAA, FHWA, AASHTO, TRB, NASAO, academic institutions, regional and local government organizations or associations, and industry associations. • Participate in exchanges and opportunities to capture and share progress with leading- edge research and development, lessons learned, and pilot test results. • Focus particularly on opportunities to develop and participate in lead-agency risk- sharing mechanisms. • Identify appropriate (legal) mechanisms to improve practice-related dialogue with private sector entities to identify specific collaborative and knowledge-exchange opportunities/venues with key players in other sectors in which goals in applying UAM may overlap and avenues through which coordination could overcome barriers to implementation. • Once prepared, ensure that discussions between city planners, MPOs, OEMs, and service providers are initiated. Discuss innovative solutions that may be viable for the airport to supplement shrinking petroleum fuel revenue. • Use outside resources to take a fresh look at the airport to assess it from another perspective.

Airport Assessment Toolkit 91 Table 22. (Continued). (continued on next page) Has the airport coordinated with OEMs and service providers to understand opportunities and specific needs to incorporate before planning for UAM initiatives? Actively working to or plan to collaborate with OEM and service providers to plan for UAM operations. • Identify resources and materials to understand the airports' strengths and weaknesses better and have information prepared for discussions between city planners, MPOs, OEMs, and service providers. • Have a business-friendly plan ready that includes all resources and amenities (e.g., electrical capacity, land use, and zoning, available space for tenants, current tenants, and ground support equipment, and partnerships with TNCs or multimodal companies) at the airport to facilitate discussions for future opportunities and planning needs. Has the airport identified funding for UAM initiatives? The opportunity for making a case for such practices is through established budgetary and program processes that encourage innovation advocates to compete for funding. • Rationalize the likelihood that adequate funding mechanisms can support investment in UAM. • Estimate the required investments associated with the practice in relation to planned actions in this Required Action Framework (e.g. research and development, testing, demonstration, deployment, support functions) and their timeframes for execution. • Consider practice-specific versus general innovation approaches. • Identify the scale of the investment and the extent to which these investments require substantial or dedicated funding. • Determine whether funding can adequately derive from “special project” allocations or “one-off” opportunities, or whether formal, sustainable budget and program processes are needed to accommodate the UAM initiative, either in the near term or long term. Critical Success Factor Component Potential Target (Level 3) Suggested Actions Is there an innovative culture, champion, and/or organization at the airport or city that could support UAM? There is a clear choice of who should lead UAM at the airport based on technical expertise, level of interest, and leadership skills, and one or more others who could step in if this person were to leave. Secure and empower an innovation champion and immediate team. • Identify an existing staff individual as a champion to lead the practice and provide that person with the capacity and resources (e.g., opportunities to engage in and learn from national state-of-the-practice activities). • If efficient or necessary, develop a recruitment approach to hire such a person with appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities. • Identify other key individuals to provide immediate support and position for succession.

92 Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective Table 22. (Continued). Is there political support for UAM development? Sufficient political support exists to move forward with UAM initiatives. Establish exchanges beyond the aviation community to capitalize on outside expertise and mutually beneficial goals for UAM, electrification, and eco-friendly initiatives. • Work with State and local leaders to understand common goals and collaborate on efforts. • Engage the community and seek feedback and opinions on UAM. • Identify specific collaborative and knowledge-exchange opportunities/venues with key players in other sectors in which goals in applying UAM may overlap and avenues through which coordination could overcome barriers to implementation. Critical Success Factor Component Potential Target (Level 3) Suggested Actions Readiness for UAM Is there a demand in the area for UAM from the community or current tenants (e.g., Passenger Air Mobility, Air Cargo, Emergency Services)? Have great potential demand for services and are closely tracking the emerging practices and experiences to incorporate UAM as an early adopter. • Determine the airport’s readiness on critical items given the technological and regulatory environment's uncertainty and the vast number of influencing factors. • Determine the demand and assess the demographics in the area and how they may support UAM use cases. What problems are being addressed, and what alternative approaches are being contemplated and tested? • Compile information on the demographics, disposable income, UAM applications for the airport, as well as other agency services, activities, and practices, as deemed appropriate. • Include the following considerations: where it should work well, where it might not apply, and the level of effort and resources required (staffing, expertise, facilities, equipment, time, and budget). Have airport resources been identified for future growth opportunities (e.g., electrical system, operational density, land use, zoning requirements, lease agreement modifications)? A comprehensive list of resources has been identified, and the airport is prepared for productive conversations with OEMs, service providers, and the supporting industry. • Conduct electrical load and capacity assessment, operational density, land use, zoning, and current lease agreements. • Identify changes that may need to be completed to facilitate favorable integration of UAM, multimodal, and supporting tenants. Has the airport master plan been updated to incorporate UAM or electrification initiatives? The master plan has been updated for UAM and/or electrification initiatives. • Update or modify the master plan for UAM based on the items in the Airport Master Planning chapter. • Have a business-friendly plan ready that includes all resources and amenities (e.g., electrical capacity, land use, and zoning, available space for tenants, current tenants, and ground support equipment, and partnerships with TNCs or multimodal companies) at the airport to facilitate discussions for future opportunities and planning needs.

Airport Assessment Toolkit 93 Table 22. (Continued). (continued on next page) Have there been discussions regarding training programs or growth paths to train new workers for UAM initiatives with State Aeronautics directors or academia in the area? There are established programs to train new generations of workers for UAM initiatives. • Partner with State aeronautics directors, universities, trade schools, or other organizations to discuss training programs and opportunities for a UAM workforce. • Collaborate and develop a recruitment approach to hire workers with appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities. Have current leases been evaluated and updated plans created in anticipation of collaboration with new UAM tenants at the airport? Lease agreements are available and are ready to be negotiated with UAM tenants. • Conduct assessment of land use, zoning, and current lease agreements. • Identify changes that may need to be completed to facilitate favorable integration of UAM, multimodal, and supporting tenants. Has the airport planned or coordinated with the city for community engagement for UAM initiatives? Communities have been engaged, and continual outreach plans will be part of the implementation of UAM initiatives. • Collaborate with the city to establish community engagement activities for the dissemination of goals and to receive feedback. • Create an action plan for successful engagement of the community to disseminate factual information early in the process to allow for feedback and quell rumors. Curbside facilities exist and are readily available • Determine if the location of curbside facilities is available to support UAM operations. Have there been considerations of the location of curbside facilities to determine if they are available to support UAM operations? for use for UAM passengers. • Discuss accessibility, efficient paths, security, and feasibility. • Articulate the findings in a formal risk management framework and use the information for initial assessment and ongoing evaluation and tracking. Have there been discussions around the availability of a sustainable workforce to support new operations in the area? There is sufficient capacity in the numbers of people and levels of expertise available within the agency or accessible through outsourcing to undertake the UAM initiatives. • Partner with cities and state economic development teams, planners, and innovation groups to understand common goals and evaluate the city's readiness to support additional industries related to UAM. Determine what use cases fit best with the resources available or what modifications are necessary. • Collaborate with economic development teams to educate and understand the hidden potential of the airport as a hub for the community for UAM initiatives and to foster job and economic growth. • Collaborate with housing authorities to evaluate available housing and cost of living and determine if it can support the workforce for additional operations and businesses related to UAM initiatives. Critical Success Factor Component Potential Target (Level 3) Suggested Actions

94 Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective Table 22. (Continued). Critical Success Factor Component Potential Target (Level 3) Suggested Actions Are you aware of the development goals for the adjacent land surrounding your airport? The airport, surrounding land, and stakeholders are aligned and supportive of opportunities and discussions surrounding UAM initiatives. • Assess land use and zoning, and discuss development goals with adjacent landowners. • Discuss goals with adjacent landowners for UAM integration, identify conflicts, and collaborate on common goals. • Identify changes that may need to be completed to facilitate the integration of UAM, multimodal, and supporting tenants. Infrastructure for UAM Have there been discussions with other multimodal entities to discuss common goals for the integration of UAM and other multimodal options? The airport location to activity centers is within acceptable limits, or solutions exist to enable efficient transportation for multimodal connections with UAM. • Have a business-friendly plan ready that includes all resources and amenities (e.g., electrical capacity, land use and zoning, available space for tenants, current tenants, and ground support equipment) at the airport to facilitate discussions for future opportunities and planning needs. • Collaborate with multimodal entities to discuss common goals and determine areas to collaborate (e.g., electrical charging infrastructure, first/last-mile coordination, and opportunities). Is there available space at the airport to accommodate UAM facilities or operations (e.g., Passenger Air Mobility, Air Cargo, Emergency Services)? There are areas available that also have favorable zoning. • Determine capacity for new tenants and how to benefit from new opportunities that come with UAM operations. • Identify changes that may need to be completed to facilitate favorable integration of UAM, multimodal, and supporting tenants and integrate them into future planning. • Assess distance from UAM operations to new tenants. Does current infrastructure need to be modified for better efficiency as operations scale in the future? • Discuss with utility companies the capacity of the current pipeline into the airport and determine if future changes will be required. If changes are required, evaluate options for the airport to meet future demands. Does the airport have parking structures or areas that could be used as a transportation node or vertiport? There are areas available that also have favorable zoning. • Work with design firms to assess the suitability of parking garages for UAM. • Identify changes that may need to be completed to facilitate the integration of UAM, multimodal, and supporting tenants and integrate into parking structures. • Discuss with utility companies the current pipeline's capacity into the airport and determine if future changes will be required. If changes are required, evaluate options for the airport to meet future demands.

Airport Assessment Toolkit 95 Table 22. (Continued). Does the airport have the capacity for new tenants who will support UAM (e.g., concessions, maintenance facilities, UAM support businesses, Plentiful space is available to support new tenants. • Determine capacity for new tenants and how to benefit from new opportunities that come with UAM operations. • Assess distance from UAM operations to new tenants. Does the current infrastructure need to be modified for better efficiency as operations scale in the future? package delivery hubs)? Has the airport met with utility companies to identify the electrical load of the airport and understand the capacity for future growth of the electrical infrastructure? Have dedicated electrical capacity or plan to build infrastructure to support UAM and other airport operations for future capacity needs. • Evaluate current electrical capacity and load and document for future discussions with OEMs, service providers, and potential tenants. • Discuss with the utility company the capacity on the current pipeline and determine if future changes will be required. Critical Success Factor Component Potential Target (Level 3) Suggested Actions

Next: Chapter 8 - Key Study Findings and Recommendations for Further Research »
Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective Get This Book
×
 Urban Air Mobility: An Airport Perspective
Buy Paperback | $83.00
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

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.

READ FREE ONLINE

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!