The FAA released an implementation plan detailing the steps it and others will need to take to safely enable advanced air mobility operations in the near term. The “Innovate28” plan includes various components and the sequence they will occur in for operations to be at scale at one or more sites by 2028.
The plan will serve as a foundation for making entry into service routine and predictable by maximizing the use of existing procedures and infrastructure. It addresses how the agency and partners will certify aircraft and pilots, manage airspace access, ensure pilot training, develop infrastructure, maintain security, and engage communities.
The plan also includes a planning guide that can be applied to any site, laying out key integration objectives and sequences.
Today’s broad effort follows the agency releasing its airspace blueprint and proposing a comprehensive rule for training and certifying pilots to fly these aircraft. The plan’s highlights include:
- Pilots will be able to fly the new advanced mobility aircraft to and from multiple locations at the sites, using predetermined flight schedules with pilots aboard.
- Advanced air mobility aircraft likely will operate up to 4,000 feet altitude in urban and metropolitan areas, using existing or modified low altitude visual flight rules (VFR) routes where possible within controlled Class B and C airspace around major airports.
- Operators, manufacturers, state and local governments, and other stakeholders will be responsible for planning, developing and enabling heliport/vertiport infrastructure.
- Advanced air mobility will initially operate at existing heliports, commercial service airports and general aviation airports. Modifications may be necessary to install charging stations, parking zones and taxiing space.
- The electrical power grid may require upgrades to serve advanced air mobility operations.
- The FAA has an interagency agreement with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab to determine how aircraft electrification affects a vertiport, heliport or airport’s electrical grid.
- The Department of Homeland Security will determine what type of security is necessary.
- The TSA and FAA are evaluating the need for expanded cybersecurity requirements due to the use of advanced technology and operational protocols.
The FAA will consider the environmental impacts of advanced air mobility operations, including factors such as noise, air quality, visual disturbances, and disruption to wildlife.
- The FAA will engage with airports, and local, state, and tribal communities to better understand community concerns about advanced air mobility operations, including noise and mitigations.
- Many other stakeholders, such as advanced air mobility operators and airport and vertiport operators will have important roles in community engagement.