Planning for Advanced Air Mobility

In recent years, several technological advancements in vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), electrification, and automation are enabling innovations in aviation business models and aircraft designs. These innovations are converging to create new aviation services commonly referred to as advanced air mobility (AAM). AAM is a broad concept focusing on emerging aviation markets and use cases for on-demand aviation in urban, suburban, and rural communities. AAM includes local use cases of about a 50-mile radius in rural or urban areas and intraregional use cases of up to a few hundred miles that occur within or between urban and rural areas. While AAM may be enabled by the convergence of several factors, a number of obstacles such as: community acceptance, safety, social equity, issues around planning and implementation, multimodal integration, sustainability, airspace, and operations, could create challenges for urban planners and barriers to mainstreaming. This study, a partnership between MTI and the American Planning Association, will develop a Planning Advisory Service report that: - Provides planners with an overview of advanced air mobility and how it may impact communities and planning practice; - Discusses the potential impacts and challenges of AAM; - Explains considerations for integrating AAM with other transportation modes; - Examines how AAM can impact social equity and potential strategies for enhancing it and mitigating adverse impacts on underserved populations; and - Explains how AAM can be integrated into planning practice.

Mineta Consortium for Transportation Mobility
San José State University
Principal Investigator: 
Adam Cohen & Susan Shaheen
PI Contact Information: 

Mineta Transportation Institute
San José State University
210 N. 4th St., 4th Floor
San José, CA 95112

Adam Cohen

Susan Shaheen

Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization): 

U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology - $50,108

Total Project Cost: 
Agency ID or Contract Number: 
January 2022 to March 2023
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation: 

Key topics in the report will include taxonomy, key terms, and definitions; potential opportunities and challenges of AAM from a local and regional planning and policy perspective; and recommendations to plan and guide the implementation of AAM toward sustainable and equitable outcomes. Additionally, the report will discuss the importance and practices for involving key stakeholders and the public, and how to integrate AAM into the planning practice. The report will provide a practical guide and desk reference for practitioners, policymakers, and the public to plan and prepare for AAM.

Project Number: 



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SJSU Research Foundation   210 N. 4th Street, 4th Floor, San Jose, CA 95112    Phone: 408-924-7560   Email: