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World Economic Forum, City of LA release 7 principles for urban air mobility

The World Economic Forum and City of Los Angeles on Sept. 15 released “Principles of the Urban Sky” — seven principles for implementing urban air mobility (UAM) in a way that is safe, sustainable, and inclusive.

Hyundai S-A1 eVTOL for urban air mobility
Hyundai is developing the S-A1 eVTOL air taxi for urban air mobility missions. Pam Cohn, chief operating officer of Hyundai’s UAM Division, praised the World Economic Forum and City of LA for “demonstrating the leadership society needs to address current and future mobility challenges.” Hyundai Image

Developed over the past nine months by a working group of more than 50 manufacturers, service providers, infrastructure developers, academics, community organizations, and government planners, the principles are intended to guide city and industry leaders as they develop UAM policy and infrastructure. They include:

Safety: New forms of air transport must achieve levels of safety performance consistent with conventional aviation operations.

Sustainability: UAM must improve environmental outcomes and embrace innovation to achieve more sustainable behaviors.

Equity of access: There should be equitable access to mobility for disadvantaged communities.

Low noise: Noise disturbances should be measured and mitigated by a community-first approach.

Multimodal connectivity: UAM should connect to existing, high-quality transport options, offering seamless travel.

Local workforce development: UAM is expected to increase jobs on the ground and in the air.

Purpose-driven data sharing: Data sharing should help providers quickly respond to passenger need and market demand.

In a press release announcing the principles, Christoph Wolff of the World Economic Forum stated, “The current pandemic has created new challenges for transport networks and infrastructure around the world. As we build back better, these principles provide an ethical framework for planning new modes of aerial transport at the same time as we reinvest in current forms of transit.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “Even in the face of COVID-19 today, our eyes are fixed on the horizon of a reimagined tomorrow, where urban air mobility is a central part of a safe, sustainable, equitable future.” According to the press release, the Principles of the Urban Sky will be used for implementing UAM in L.A.

Sikorsky, Hyundai, and Uber were some of the industry participants who contributed to development of the principles. “Defining the core principles that will underpin an operational framework is an important first step, and as a founding member of the working group we look forward to continuing these important discussions,” said Igor Cherepinsky, director of Sikorsky Innovations.

“These principles demonstrate both the industry and local government’s commitment to work together to realize the potential of sustainable urban aviation,” added Uber Elevate head Eric Allison.

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