Flying Vehicles Breakthrough Accelerated by FAA, Air Force Deal

The FAA has set 2028 as the time frame for aerial vehicles such as air taxis to be traveling to and from destinations

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

October 31, 2023

3 Min Read
Image shows the dashboard of a flying car looking over the city in front of it.
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the U.S. Air Force have signed an agreement to work together on the integration of eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicles into the National Airspace System.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed at Duke Field in Florida by the FAA and AFWERX, the innovation arm of the U.S. Air Force that leverages the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The FAA has set 2028 as the time frame for aerial vehicles such as air taxis to be traveling to and from destinations.

The Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Implementation Plan introduced by the FAA details the steps and processes for aerial vehicle operations to be regulated and certified.

“With this MOU and the ongoing AAM interagency working group, we are accelerating a breakthrough in electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft,” said Col. Elliott Leigh, AFWERX director and chief commercialization officer for the Department of the Air Force. “We are driving progress in propulsion technology, in manufacturing and materials and in test and safety for a novel class of air vehicles.”

In July, the FAA released the implementation plan detailing the steps it and others will need to take to safely enable advanced air mobility operations in the near term.

Related:FAA Plans for Flying Taxis by 2028

The FAA defines AAM as “an emerging aviation ecosystem that leverages new aircraft and an array of innovative technologies. The scope of AAM is limited to those engaging in passenger-carrying or cargo operations with a pilot on board.”

“A new era of aviation is taking off and safe and efficient operations require collaboration,” said FAA technology development director John Maffei. “This data will help inform FAA certification efforts, policies, standards and future airspace integration requirements.”

FAA previously created Innovate28, “a joint government and industry initiative that will culminate in integrated AAM operations at one or more key site locations by the 2028 time frame.”

The 40-page advanced air mobility plan said that in the approval process, the FAA will be considering the aircraft itself, the framework for operations, access to the airspace, operator training, infrastructure development, environmental impacts and community engagement. 

“AAM aircraft will be authorized for piloted operations and will transport passengers and/or cargo within the limits of the aircraft and certification regulations,” states the FAA plan “The aircraft are expected to range in size from single passenger to larger occupancy shuttles, and employ new means of propulsion (e.g., electric motors, hydrogen fuel, hybrid designs).

The FAA recently granted several airworthiness certificates for several companies to conduct test flights carrying either cargo or people.

There are numerous EAV facilities being constructed around the world.

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About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, author of "Flying Vehicles," New York Times Business Bestselling author and futurist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book title "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis) followed "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.

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