Regional Air Mobility (RAM) focuses on building upon existing airport infrastructure to transport people and goods using innovative aircraft that offer a huge improvement in efficiency, affordability, and community-friendly integration over existing regional transportation options. These aircraft, which typically carry less than 20 passengers or an equivalent weight in cargo, are flexible in terms of where they can take off and land, even using existing runways and infrastructure to maximize compatibility with today’s airports. This project examines the feasibility of RAM supporting high-speed transportation for high-priority passenger and cargo movement within Fresno County and connection to coastal urban centers. Some examples of high-priority passengers and cargo could include, but would not be limited to, medical patients needing specialized and/or emergency treatment, organ transport, and critical medical supply deliveries. Electrification of aviation is happening, and Fresno County has the potential to combine our existing closely spaced underutilized airport infrastructure, early demonstration, and experience with electric aircraft, renewable energy opportunities, central location within the state, and the need to open the door for new industry opportunities for youth to take advantage of this “Third Revolution” in aviation.
JULIO ROA, PhD, PE, PMP
Julio Roa, PhD, PMP is currently an Assistant Professor at California State University, Fresno. The aim of Dr. Roa’s research is to make air transportation sustainable. This includes researching renewable energy supplies to support the aviation industry’s transition to renewable energy systems, as well evaluating required modifications and additions to airport infrastructure to accommodate for new technologies and logistics.
A native of the San Joaquin Valley and a private pilot since 1974, Mr. Oldham has had a passion for aviation since early childhood. A graduate of California State University, Fresno, Mr. Oldham has spent most of his professional life working to improve air quality in the region through deployment of clean energy and clean vehicle technology. Mr. Oldham is the President and CEO of New Vision Aviation, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit charitable organization focused on providing aviation education for youth and residents of communities of color and low-income neighborhoods in the San Joaquin Valley. Mr. Oldham is the lead pilot and project manager for the Sustainable Aviation Project designed to validate operations of electric aircraft and has over 230 hours of flight in Pipistrel Alpha Electro aircraft, the first production electric aircraft in the world. The project is beginning the process of getting the public familiar and comfortable with electric propulsion in aircraft as a step toward the advanced electric powered aerial sky taxi vehicles of the future and larger commercial electrically powered aircraft. Mr. Oldham is a contributor to the NASA white paper published in 2021 on the potential for Regional Air Mobility using advanced electric aircraft to change how underutilized regional airports can bring enhanced mobility to the communities they serve. Mr. Oldham lives in Fresno, CA, with his wife Donna and they have three adult children.