The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

U.S. Senate Passes Bill To Ensure Government Support of Advanced Air Mobility

The U.S. Senate this week passed the Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act (S.516), which establishes an interagency working group to more effectively engage the federal government in supporting the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) sector.

The House of Representatives version of the legislation, the Advanced Aviation Infrastructure Modernization Act (H.R.6270), won passage in November last year and would direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish a pilot program that would provide planning and construction grants to support AAM infrastructure development. With each chamber passing their respective versions of the bill, they can work to resolve the differences, or one chamber can elect to pass the other’s bill. Once that happens, the bill will go to President Biden to be signed into law. 

“Both the Senate and House have worked diligently, in a bipartisan manner, to pass their versions of the Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act,” said General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce. “We are on the cusp of the future of aviation, and it is our hope that Congress can work expeditiously to get the bill finalized so that we can further develop and grow the Advanced Air Mobility sector.” 

Introduced by Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), the Senate bill passed on March 23 authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to establish an interagency working group composed of leaders from key government agencies to plan for and coordinate efforts for the advancement of the AAM industry. It tasks the working group with reviewing and making recommendations for the federal role in the AAM sector, beyond the initial critical stage of aircraft certification and operations, with a focus on economic and workforce opportunities, potential physical and digital security risks and mitigations, and infrastructure development.  In developing the recommendations, the working group will consider the views of various stakeholders including aviation operators and manufacturers; airports; labor groups; state, local and tribal officials; consumer groups; and first responders.

“As advanced air mobility continues to develop, it will be essential for federal government agencies and departments to be coordinated and prepared to usher in this rapidly developing sector of aviation which will facilitate additional transportation options, create jobs, spur economic activity and competitiveness, advance environmental sustainability, foster further advancement in aerospace technology and support emergency preparedness, said Bunce. “We applaud the Senate for passing the Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act, which has broad bipartisan and bicameral support. We are very appreciative of all the work of those that championed the bill in the Senate, especially its sponsors, Senators Moran and Sinema.