Last week, U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta and Jay Obernolte, co-chairs of the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) caucus, along with 26 Members of Congress, wrote to Pete Buttigieg, the Dept. of Transportation Secretary, to encourage the integration of AAM into U.S National Airspace, in order to continue the country’s aviation leadership, reports a press release.  

eVTOLs or flying taxis are expected to be FAA certified within the next few years. This will “substantially upgrade and improve transportation, while creating hundreds of thousands of high-skilled jobs,” says the letter.

The members urge the Department of Transportation to make progress on the type certifications of AAM aircraft, publishing the Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) and any subsequent rule-makings on time, maximising the use of existing infrastructure to accommodate initial operations, exporting the FAA’s approach globally, allocating necessary staff and resources to bring this industry to fruition, and the expeditious establishment of the AAM interagency working group.

Joby Aviation

The members wrote, “We are at a pivotal time in aviation.  In just a few short years, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) and other forms of emerging aviation technologies will be operating in our National Airspace System (NAS), changing the way in which goods and people move within rural and urban areas.”

It continues, “Over the past decade, industry and the U.S. government have worked together to certify AAM aircraft and put in place the necessary regulatory environment to support their entrance into the [National Airspace System]. However, that leadership is by no means guaranteed in the long run, and the U.S. is not alone pursuing this endeavour.”

Adding, “The world is currently in the middle of a global race for leadership in AAM, with industry and governments in Asia and Europe heavily investing to aggressively compete with the U.S. for the global AAM market.  It is imperative that we do not rest on past achievements or take our leadership position for granted.”

The U.S certainly has a number of eVTOL companies leading this impending green aviation including Joby and Archer. Both companies aim to begin commercial flights in 2025. Others include Jaunt, Wisk and Beta Technologies.

Archer ‘Midnight’

It is estimated AAM could add close to USD1 trillion dollars and 400,000 jobs to the economies around the world who invest in this new industry.  Reps. Panetta and Obernolte launched the bipartisan Congressional Advanced Air Mobility Caucus in 2022 to educate members and the public about AAM technologies, associated societal benefits, and regulatory updates needed to promote this revolutionary technology.

Members joining Reps. Panetta and Obernolte include:-

Colin Z. Allred (TX-32), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Cliff Bentz (OR-02), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Eric A. “Rick” Crawford (AR-01), Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), Sharice L. Davids (KS-03), Byron Donalds (FL-19), Neal P. Dunn, M.D. (FL-02), Jake Ellzey (TX-06), Bill Foster (IL-11), C. Scott Franklin (FL-18), Zoe Lofgren (CA-18), Tracey Mann (KS-01), Troy E. Nehls (TX-22), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Greg Stanton (AZ-04), Dina Titus (NV-01), Michael R. Turner (OH-10), David G. Valadao (CA-22), Jefferson Van Drew (NJ-02), Daniel Webster (FL-11), Bruce Westerman (AR-04), and Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24).

Read the full letter here:-