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MITRE’s Response to the DOT RFI on Advanced Air Mobility

MITRE’s data-driven responses to a U.S. Department of Transportation inquiry requesting input into drafting a national advanced air mobility (AAM) strategy.

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What’s the issue? “Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) is an emerging field in which novel aircraft currently in design and testing could provide new levels of accessibility, convenience, and connectivity for people and cargo—and thus transform our nation's transportation system to provide enhanced mobility for the traveling and shipping public… AAM also introduces a series of challenges affecting multiple government and non-government stakeholders, such as ensuring the continued safety and security of the airspace, the security of aviation networks, fully understanding and developing infrastructure requirements, and ensuring input from local communities…(T)he Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to…develop a national AAM strategy by 2024.” (DOT Request for Information)

What did we do? The Center for Data-Driven Policy led a cross-MITRE analysis of DOT’s posed questions, seeking to uncover data and evidence from our work in the public interest that would help DOT understand opportunities and develop plans that are evidence-based, actionable, and effective.

What did we find? MITRE considers the most important aspects of a national AAM strategy to be (1) a clear vision, including a more mature and broader concept of operations with standard definitions; (2) coordination of government approval processes; and (3) a focus on safety.

A Clear Vision - To be successful, a national AAM strategy must serve as a conceptual organizing function. It should first state the national vision for AAM operations in the U.S., followed by a collection of goals that enable the vision to be met. These inform an overall concept of operations description.

Coordination of Approval Processes - A national AAM strategy should include coordination and streamlining of government approval processes that are critical to the implementation of AAM.

Focus on Safety - In the U.S., AAM will become part of the world’s safest airspace system. The implementation and integration of AAM's novel and innovative concepts will be guided by existing safety institutions and culture.