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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Advanced Air Mobility | Air Taxis

Today, flying is safer than any other mode of transportation in history. The next era of aviation will be too.

A new era of aviation is taking off.  What once seemed only real in movies or cartoons is happening. Our job is to ensure this new generation of air taxis maintains the high level of safety that defines commercial aviation today.

What is this new aviation era?

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) is an umbrella term for aircraft that are likely highly automated and electric. These aircraft are often referred to as air taxis or electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

AAM has the potential to achieve the Biden-Harris Administration's vision of transportation that is more efficient, more sustainable, and more equitable, while creating thousands of great jobs.

AAM aircraft could also be used to transport cargo and passengers, help with firefighting, and provide search and rescue operations. It also has the potential to connect underserved and rural communities.

A New Era of Aviation: An AAM Webinar Series

The aviation industry is experiencing growth in new and innovative aircraft design and operations. The FAA is at the forefront of establishing an operational AAM ecosystem at one or more key sites in the United States soon. We are providing programmatic support, coordinating key projects and research, synchronizing messaging, and working to safely and responsibly usher in this new era in aviation. Learn more about the webinar series.

What is the FAA’s role? 

These aviation dreams will only happen if people are confident it is safe, just like flying in the United States today. That's the FAA's job: Making sure this new generation of air taxis maintains the high level of safety that defines modern aviation. Many AAM companies are the designer, manufacturer, and operator, requiring them to obtain several certifications.

Advanced Air Mobility Milestones

We are making steady progress certifying aircraft and pilots, planning for integration of these aircraft into the airspace, and collaborating internationally. Here are some key milestones. 

Hover over each icon to read more. 

Make it Safe

Vehicle CertificationReady for take off with eVTOL in the middle of a city stock photo

The FAA has the regulations in place that allow manufacturers to achieve our safety standards in innovative ways. When tailoring existing rules to a new concept, the FAA determines the certification requirements for the eVTOL’s design, production, airworthiness, and operation. Some certifications could require the FAA to issue special conditions or additional airworthiness criteria, depending on the type of project. We use the same data-driven approach when evaluating these complex systems that has created the safest aviation system in the world.

Operator Certification & Framework 

Many of these new aircraft take off in helicopter mode, transition into airplane mode fordrone over skyline flying, and then transition back to helicopter mode for landing. 

In June 2023, we issued a proposed rule for training and certifying pilots. 

In July 2023, the FAA issued a final rule that updates the air carrier definition to add “powered-lift” operations to the regulations covering other commercial operations, such as airlines, charters and air tours.

In August 2022, the FAA met its first milestone on time for rules (Special Federal Aviation Regulations) that will govern these operations. Several manufacturers have publicly said they anticipate no delays in certification from this approach. 

Integrating AAM into the Airspace

Implementation Plan

The FAA released an implementation plan providing 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. 

Infrastructure Development

We expect that initial AAM vehicles will use existing infrastructure such as helipads, routes and air traffic control services where possible. In September 2022, the FAA issued vertiport design standards to serve as the foundation to begin safely building infrastructure in this new era.

Operations

Initial operations will be much like helicopters do today. As operations increase, we could have corridors for these vehicles as well as rules for communicating with air traffic control when necessary. The FAA issued an updated blueprint for Advanced Air Mobility operations in and around urban areas in May 2023.

Review the full Concept of Operations document here.


Community Engagement

Just like with drones, we are learning about and addressing local community concerns about AAM operations in and around metropolitan areas. For this effort, we’re engaging with state, local, and tribal governments and communities.  One of our initiatives is working with NASA on a national campaign to help communities learn about AAM. 

We encourage communities to get involved now, while we’re in these early phases.

Global Partners:  

The FAA is working with other civil aviation authorities to harmonize our AAM integration strategies. The FAA has joined the National Aviation Authorities Network, which consists of the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and signed declarations of cooperation with Japan and South Korea on integrating and certifying AAM aircraft.

Through these partnerships, as well as our work with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), we’re looking to align our certification processes and standards for AAM aircraft. And we’re eager to work with other nations so we can exchange expertise and share progress with each other. 

Resources