The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Implementation Plan, establishing a framework for nationwide flying taxi operations by 2028.
The FAA said the purpose of this Implementation Plan is “limited to those engaging in passenger-carrying or cargo operations with a pilot on board.” AAM is referred to as a transportation system by the agency that moves people and property by air between two points using electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in both controlled and uncontrolled airspace.
FAA said “Innovate28” is a joint government and industry initiative allowing AAM operations “at one or more key site locations” by 2028. Those locations have yet to be determined.
“This plan shows how all the pieces will come together, allowing the industry to scale with safety as the north star,” Deputy FAA Administrator Katie Thomson said in a statement.
The plan is a blueprint for making flying taxi operations “routine and predictable by maximizing the use of existing procedures and infrastructure,” the FAA said. It also addresses how the agency and partners will certify aircraft and pilots, ensure pilot training, manage airspace access, develop infrastructure, and maintain security.
New eVTOL aircraft are expected to offer capabilities from multi-passenger short-range aircraft to recreational aircraft to cargo aircraft.
The FAA notes that each eVTOL will be operated by a “pilot in command” in Class B and C airspace. This means constant contact with air traffic control while complying with Visual Flight Rules and visual meteorological conditions.
Here are the highlights of the new plan to ensure flying taxis hit the skies by 2028:
- Pilots will be able to fly the new advanced mobility aircraft to and from multiple locations at the sites, using predetermined flight schedules with pilots aboard.
- Advanced air mobility aircraft likely will operate up to 4,000 feet altitude in urban and metropolitan areas, using existing or modified low altitude visual flight rules (VFR) routes where possible within controlled Class B and C airspace around major airports.
- Operators, manufacturers, state and local governments, and other stakeholders will be responsible for planning, developing and enabling heliport/vertiport infrastructure.
- Advanced air mobility will initially operate at existing heliports, commercial service airports and general aviation airports. Modifications may be necessary to install charging stations, parking zones and taxiing space.