Skyports’ new Regulatory Affairs Lead (Americas), Andrew Giacini, discusses Skyports role in helping to establish the regulatory framework for Advanced Air Mobility in the Americas, the importance of building relationships with regulators and communities for the succesful introduction of AAM and how the Skyports solution pairs well with the interest of regulators.
Why is Skyports expanding its regulatory team?
The US is a leading market for aerospace innovation and a driver of global aviation safety. The standards and regulatory environment established in the US will help set a baseline for global advanced air mobility (AAM) capabilities. In such a nascent industry, a focus on the formation of US standards, regulations, and policy will be key to the longevity and acceptance of routine vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) operations.
This new role allows Skyports to more effectively contribute to standards bodies and policy groups as well as interface with Federal, state, and local regulators in the Americas. These governmental entities are working diligently to establish guidance and regulation for this new sector of civil aviation. Skyports and our partners in the AAM industry hope to provide the FAA and other regulatory bodies with the information and input they need to make informed decisions.
Moreover, my addition marks the beginning of a broader expansion of the Skyports team in the Americas. Skyports continues to develop strong partnerships in North America around our vertiport development as well as our small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) package delivery services. You will definitely see our presence continue to grow.
Why Skyports and why AAM?
After spending a number of years on the policy side of transportation, working directly for and with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), I am excited to be on the business-end of civil aviation.
VTOL aircraft present immense opportunity, turning the concept of short- and mid-range aviation into reality. This new area of aviation provides an opportunity to connect people and communities who may have struggled in the past to bridge physical divides effectively and efficiently—to include people with limiting disabilities or populations left behind by ageing infrastructure and lack of investment. AAM is also positioned to be a better steward of our planet, taking advantage of advancements in energy production, storage, and utilisation—providing a mode of transportation that can run on clean and renewable energy.
Skyports is well positioned in the AAM industry. We are involved in small and large, manned and unmanned, physical and digital, new entrant development, planning, and operations. Furthermore, our tech-agnostic approach to operations and integration pairs well with the interests of local and national regulators. This provides us with the flexibility to adapt to changing demands, technology, and regulations as the industry matures.
Where do you see Skyports going in the US?
The US, and much of the Americas, have invested in a transportation backbone of highway, rail, waterway, and aerospace infrastructure over decades. AAM will not replace these modes of transportation, but rather will coexist, supplement, and support these investments. Skyports will design, own, and operate free-standing vertiports, integrate our systems and infrastructure into existing transportation assets like multimodal centres or airports, and partner with businesses, communities, and VTOL operators to develop infrastructure to meet specific needs—passenger or cargo.
Over the next five years, Skyports will continue to build relationships with national and local regulators, communities, and stakeholders in order to develop a thoughtful approach to AAM introduction and integration. We see collaboration as a needed ingredient to success and we intend to play a significant role in an ecosystem that will provide a new form of clean, safe, affordable, and accessible transportation.
Is there a key to success?
Skyports cannot act alone. Infrastructure cannot be built in a silo. Partnerships and communication with communities and regulators as well as operators and the travelling public are integral to the acceptance and long-term adoption of AAM as a meaningful mode of transportation.