The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the City of Los Angeles recently released a roadmap of principles for making clean, safe, and inclusive urban air mobility (UAM) in cities. UAM is a new form of air transportation that incorporates low-noise, medium-distance, electric flights for goods or people.
The Principles of the Urban Sky outlines seven key components deemed critical in protecting the public interest:
- safety – new forms of air transport will have to achieve levels of safety performance consistent with conventional aviation operations;
- sustainability- these new modes must improve environmental outcomes;
- equity of access – for disadvantaged communities and businesses with the greatest need for enhanced mobility and the positive economic benefits of UAM;
- low noise;
- multi-modal connectivity – new transit modes should connect with existing forms of transport and mobility hubs to offer secure and integrated operations;
- local workforce development; and,
- purpose-driven data sharing – enabling all authorized stakeholders to quickly respond to the needs of passengers, communities, and market demands.
“The current pandemic has created new challenges for transport networks and infrastructure around the world,” said Christoph Wolff, head of shaping the future of mobility at the World Economic Forum. “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.”
The principles were 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.
“Our city’s strength stems from our creativity, our innovative spirit and our willingness to test new ideas on our streets – and in our skies – that will inspire and change the world for the better,” said Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti. “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.”