A new bill promising to encourage aviation infrastructure innovation, the Advanced Aviation Infrastructure Modernization Act (AAIM/H.R. 6270), made it through the House this week, with pledges to create a two-year pilot program investing $25 million into governmental grants.
“Tonight, the House passed the Advanced Aviation Infrastructure Modernization Act to invest in the development of America’s aviation future,” U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said. “This legislation will help states and local communities to leverage new advanced air mobility technology—ranging from flying cars to electric aircraft—to reduce congestion on our roads and provide an environmentally sustainable travel option.”
To do this, AAIM would invest $25 million into competitive comprehensive planning grants for state, local, territorial and Tribal governments. These grants would assist in the development and deployment of advanced air mobility (AAM) – transformative, cost-effective aviation technology for the transportation of people and goods in rural and urban environments – vertiports and similar infrastructure. Over two years, this program would also provide limited funding for some affiliated construction activities, if they meet federal standards and the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“Congress must stay focused on investing in an innovative aviation system that creates jobs and will last into the 2050s and beyond,” U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), chair of the Aviation Subcommittee, said. “This bipartisan bill enables communities in the Pacific Northwest and across the country to plan for safe integration of advanced air mobility vehicles into the airspace and existing transportation networks, reduce emissions and grow the nation’s leadership in the global aerospace industry.”
Supporters of the bill have emphasized the rapid growth of the AAM sector, and the need for governments to keep pace and cash in on the benefits it brings. Further, by keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry, they argue that government can help new technologies be safely integrated into U.S. airspace.