On Wednesday, September 13, RTCA presented Webinar audience members from 40 countries with a discussion of FAA’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) ConOps, version 2.0. Dr. Parimal “PK” Kopardekar, Director of the NASA Aeronautics Research Institute, led Noureddin “Nouri” Ghazavi, systems engineer at the FAA’s NextGen Technology Development and Prototyping Division, through a series of questions describing FAA’s processes for creating the v2.0 document and predictions of future pathways.
UAM ConOps 1.0 debuted in June of 2020, focusing on foundational principles, roles and responsibilities, and scenarios and operational threads. ConOps v2.0, published in May 2023, reflects the continued maturation of UAM and incorporates feedback received on v1.0, as well as research outcomes and additional input from government and industry stakeholders.
Ghazavi said important considerations for v2.0 included laying out a foundation for UAM that meets performance and participant requirements, incorporates some level of tactical deconfliction or visual separation, and challenges UAM to share their intent with the aviation ecosystem. In the near-term, Ghazavi said changes are needed and a regulatory framework is necessary for safe integration. Having aircraft certified may be necessary as well. In the mid-term, a UAM corridor needs to be established and in the long-term, a regulatory framework will be needed. Kopardekar and Ghazavi predicted the easier path forward at this stage is UAM with an onboard pilot and think FAA’s Tech Center, FAA Centers of Excellence and FAA’s UAS Test sites will help enable higher density operations in the future.
In the Webinar’s Q&A portion, Kopardekar and Ghazavi discussed the role of supplemental data service providers, remote identification, jamming concerns, the development of a blueprint for air taxis, and RTCA’s role moving forward.
To view this Webinar, click here. RTCA would like to thank Gold Sponsors Collins Aerospace and NATCA. Thanks also goes to Webinar sponsor ALPA.