The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

On The Radar

FAA Issues Advanced Air Mobility Implementation Plan

The FAA has released the first version of its advanced air mobility (AAM) implementation plan, a document that outlines all the steps that the U.S. air safety regulator and other stakeholders will need to take to enable AAM operations in the U.S. by 2028. The living document, which the FAA intends to periodically update, was published online on July 18. 

With air taxi operations expected to launch in the U.S. as early as 2025, the FAA has been busy not only certifying new aircraft, but also working to ensure that they can be safely and effectively integrated into the National Airspace System. 

In May, the agency released an updated concept of operations for urban air mobility to serve as both a short-term and long-term guide for eVTOL air taxi operators, specifically in urban environments. The focus of the new AAM implementation plan is to document the work needed to initially enable AAM in a variety of operational settings. 

For the purposes of this document, the FAA has defined AAM as the piloted operations of either passenger- or cargo-carrying aircraft with advanced technologies, such as electric or hydrogen-powered propulsion systems and eVTOL configurations. It does not address remotely piloted or autonomous aircraft.

To help carry out its new implementation plan, the FAA launched a joint government-industry initiative called Innovate28 (I28). This initiative will seek to identify prime locations and early use cases for AAM operations “while promoting an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensure the necessary steps are taken to enable these operations,” the document states. 

The FAA has also established seven dedicated internal workstreams, which it refers to as “iTeams,” to support I28. Those iTeams are addressing major focus areas for AMM, including certification, airspace and air traffic management, infrastructure, environment, hazardous materials safety, and community engagement.

“This plan shows how all the pieces will come together allowing the industry to scale with safety as the north star,” said the FAA’s deputy administrator Katie Thomson.