The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

On The Radar

UK Industry Group Urges Stronger Government Backing for Advanced Air Mobility

The UK’s ADS Group—a trade organization for the aerospace, defense, security, and space industry—this week made its case for the country to achieve leadership in the advanced air mobility (AAM) sector. It published "Developing the eVTOL Industry in the UK," a document it billed as a call to action for Britain’s national and local governments, as well as “the entire aerospace ecosystem.” The paper urges that all these entities recalibrate their efforts on the priorities it says are needed to unlock the potential for a market it estimates could be worth $510 billion by 2040.

The report calls on the government to “take decisive, timely action to ensure the UK is globally competitive,” and it sets out five recommendations for groundwork that ADS says must be in place by 2025. These include improved funding and resources for the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), clearer regulatory and policy requirements, immediate prioritization of infrastructure, government backing for efforts to win public support for eVTOL flights, and the safe, shared integration of the new aircraft into the country’s airspace.

ADS’s AAM Special Interest Group is calling for new funding to enable the CAA to handle safety and rulemaking functions needed to launch eVTOL air services. It wants to see a policy roadmap that would provide greater clarity in rules covering areas such as operations, pilot licensing and training, maintenance, and ground infrastructure.

To allow eVTOL flights to be quickly scaled up, the group is arguing for an acceleration in the modernization of UK airspace. It says that CAP1616 requirements should be updated to include arrangements suited to “quiet, zero emissions aircraft, ensuring that airspace is fit for the future.”

ADS expressed concern that delays in government backing for the AAM sector could undermine efforts for British industry to achieve a leadership position. “If the government continues to work with industry and takes action as recommended, then we can lead the world,” said the Special Interest Group’s chair, Luke Bonnett. “If we don’t, then the UK will retain an important role but is likely to be a follower of other countries in this sector. Let’s grasp the opportunity to take the lead, move forward, and get flying.”

The report, to which experts from Joby Aviation and Vertical Aerospace contributed, builds on earlier ADS-backed publications, including 2021's "Distributed Aviation" and 2022's "The Promise and Potential of Rural Regional Air Mobility."