Under the leadership of U.S. Reps. Jay Obernolte (R-CA) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), a new Congressional group launched this week, focused on educating the public about new aviation technologies and their benefits: the Advanced Air Mobility Caucus.
Its more than 20 founding members intend to take a bipartisan approach to increasing understanding about technologies expected to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) within a matter of years. Advanced air mobility aircraft include everything from drones to electric vertical take-off & landing (eVTOL) taxis, a wide-ranging air transportation system to move people and cargo between places previously unserved or underserved by aviation.
“Imagine a future just a few years from now, where, instead of summoning an Uber or Lyft, you walk to a nearby vertiport where an electric aerial vehicle hovers down to pick you up and takes you straight to your destination at a cost similar to using a ridesharing app today,” Obernolte said. “That is the potential of advanced air mobility, and its revolutionary nature is why we’re launching the bipartisan Advanced Air Mobility Caucus to ensure Congress is engaged on providing a regulatory structure that guides this industry in safety standards while enabling, not stifling, this innovation.”
AAM aircraft are expected to complement existing transportation networks and, potentially, to create thousands of manufacturing, design operational and infrastructure jobs in the United States. With this in mind, members of the new caucus will seek policies to encourage the industry and its modernization of transportation, while promoting necessary safety and infrastructure needs.
“Advanced air mobility innovations like electric vertical takeoff vehicles show promise as new modes of sustainable transportation for commercial and private use,” Panetta said. “This bipartisan caucus will broaden awareness of the industry at the federal level and foster future partnerships with Members on both sides of the aisle. Supporting this cutting-edge aviation technology will cut emissions, provide more efficient transportation options, and create thousands of high-skilled manufacturing jobs.”
The AAM caucus is backed by numerous aviation groups, including the National Business Aviation Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, National Air Transportation Association, Aerospace Industries Association, Helicopter Association International, National Association of State Aviation Officials and General Aviation Manufacturers Association.