Early results from developing and testing a UK urban air mobility (UAM) concept of operations (CONOPS) are promising, according to the UK Air Mobility Consortium.
“Since the conclusion of Milestone 1 of the CAA Innovation Sandbox Project, where we identified key regulatory challenges that face the safe integration and scaling of urban air mobility (UAM), the UK UAM Consortium has been progressing on a concept of operations (CONOPS) that addresses these challenges,” says a consortium press release. “These include enabling high-tempo UAM operations in congested urban airspace, designing urban vertiports for landings and take-offs, and accommodating the unique performance capabilities of electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs). Without resolving these early and significant challenges, it will be difficult to scale UAM operations and deliver its potential benefits to the UK.
“An important step in this work has involved concurrently testing our CONOPS through simulations. The early results have been promising, and suggest that it is indeed feasible to support UAM operations while integrating with existing airspace users beyond what can potentially be accommodated today. The CONOPS is also already providing actionable and data-driven recommendations for government and industry, highlighting the regulatory and infrastructural gaps that must be bridged for the UAM industry to scale.
“In the next phase of the CONOPS development process, we are turning our attention towards the future air traffic management (ATM) procedures and ground infrastructure requirements that will be necessary to support higher-tempo, higher density flights whilst considering stakeholder and sustainability needs. This process will include stakeholder engagement, where we will be actively engaging industry experts for their feedback on the concepts being developed.
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