The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published an updated blueprint for airspace and procedure changes to accommodate future air taxis and other Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) operations.
Under the blueprint, AAM operations will begin at a low rate with air taxis flying much as helicopters do today. They’ll use existing routes and infrastructure such as helipads and early vertiports. Pilots will communicate with air traffic controllers where required.
As the number of operations increases, air taxis are expected to fly in corridors between major airports and vertiports in city centers. The complexity of the corridors could increase over time from single one-way paths to routes serving multiple flows of aircraft flying in both directions. Over time, these corridors could link an increasing number of routes between vertiports.
The FAA expects aircraft technology will evolve as well. Aircraft automation and real-time data sharing between aircraft will likely play increasing roles in these corridors.
The operational blueprint is said to be a key step, along with certifying the aircraft and pilots, in the FAA’s effort to safely usher in and support this next era of aviation. The blueprint aims to provide a common frame of reference to the FAA, NASA and industry to help guide research and decision-making.
The FAA developed the blueprint with NASA and industry stakeholders.