Urban and Regional Air Mobility

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The world is now entering a new era of mobility. From electric scooters to self-driving cars, we will soon have even more choices for how to travel within cities. The same technologies that are enabling new forms of ground transportation are also enabling new types of aircraft.  A new industry is emerging to address a market now being called “urban air mobility (UAM)” in which passengers and cargo are transported by short-ranged electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft at an affordable price point. As cities become more congested, UAM offers the potential for significant time savings compared to driving by overflying traffic. As one of many mobility options, UAM also will enable new levels of flexibility in multi-modal trips involving cars and transit.  A recent market study by Booz Allen Hamilton found that if experts can overcome infrastructure and air traffic management constraints, the potential U.S. market for UAM exceeds $500 billion, carrying 16 million passengers daily, and served by 850,000 aircraft.  In comparison, the U.S. airline market is approximately $200 billion. 

Unlike past forms of aviation, UAM will be deeply interwoven into the fabric of cities and regions. Aircraft must be low noise to avoid annoyance, vertiports must be located in a way consistent with land use regulations, and issues such as equity of access must be addressed.  As a consumer and producer of data, UAM will be a part of the landscape of future smart cities.
In this workshop, we will collectively address the question, “How can Atlanta and all of Georgia participate in the economic opportunity of UAM?” A premise of our discussion will be that the aircraft and technologies that enable UAM offer potential not only for urban operations but also for rural areas; hence our focus will be on urban and regional air mobility. For example, rapid commuting by air may enable increased wages for rural residents and also encourage rural growth and development, as people and businesses disaggregate from urban cores to outlying areas. Attendees will include business, government, and academic stakeholders from Atlanta and neighboring rural communities in Georgia, as well as representatives from NASA and companies participating in the nascent UAM industry.


8:00-8:30am - Registration

8:30-8:45am - Welcome and Introductions - Chaouki Abdallah, Executive Vice President of Research, Georgia Institute of Technology

8:45-9:00am - Georgia Tech’s Center for Urban and Regional Air Mobility (CURAM) - Brian German, Langley Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

9:00-9:45am - Keynote - Mark Moore, Director of Vehicle Systems, Uber Elevate

9:45-11:00am - Panel: Opportunities and challenges for urban and regional aviation

  • Chris Hewlett, Program Leader, Global Drone Solutions, Deloitte
  • Chris Runde, Director of the Airport Innovation Accelerator, American Association of Airport Executives
  • Pam Cohn, Managing Partner, Ascension Global
  • Bruce Holmes, VP, Digital Aviation, SmartSky Networks
  • Susan Ying, VP, Global Partnerships, Ampaire
  • Amy Hudnall, Director, Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace (moderator)

11:00-11:15am - Networking Break

11:15-12:30pm - Panel: Atlanta perspectives on urban and regional aviation

  • Gerald McDowell, Executive Director, Aerotropolis Atlanta CIDs
  • Carol Cormer, Director, GDOT Intermodal Division
  • Jim Allerdice, Founding Partner, ABCx2
  • Jesse Kallman, CEO, Airbus Aerial
  • Nate Fisher, Avionics Software Verification and Validation Lead, KittyHawk
  • Cynthia Curry, Director, IoT / AI / Smart Cities Ecosystem Expansion, Metro Atlanta Chamber (moderator)

12:30-1:15pm - Networking Lunch

1:15-1:30pm - Opportunities for Georgia

  • Brian German, Langley Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Debra Lam, Managing Director, Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • ​​​​​​Laurie Garrow, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

1:30-3:00pm - Breakout groups

3:00-3:15pm - Networking break

3:15-3:45pm - Breakout session report-outs

3:45-4:00pm - Closing and next steps - Brian German, Langley Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Workshop Organizers: Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Centers for Innovation, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Metro Atlanta Chamber

Email questions to scii@ipat.gatech.edu.

Event Details


  • Wednesday, January 23, 2019
    8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Location: TSRB Auditorium, 85 5th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30308

Related Media

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  • Photo courtesy: NASA

  • Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Georgia Centers of Innovation

  • Georgia Chamber of Commerce

  • Metro Atlanta Chamber

  • Newsweek