Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR) is laying the groundwork to further develop NASA’s advanced air mobility (AAM) efforts. NUAIR manages the USD897,000 task order for AAM and vertiport development on behalf of the New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport. The project team includes Deloitte, Boeing, Crown Consulting, Mosaic ATM, 5-Alpha LLC, Helicopter Association International (HAI) and the General Aircraft Manufacturers Association (GAMA). NASA awarded Oneida County this critical contract in August 2020 to conduct research in automation technology to support high-density vertiport operations that facilitate the vertical takeoff and landing of large-scale unmanned aircraft across populated areas, says a NUAIR press release.
Project partners Crown Consulting and Mosaic ATM outlined what these “skyways” and vertiport structures might look like, how they would integrate with current airspace regulations and the communication systems needed for safe flight. Air traffic will be a mix of piloted, semi-automated, and fully automated aircraft with multiple vertiport configurations depending on the location and type of operation. Vertiports could be built on top of buildings, be a stand-alone hub with amenities like an airport, or be a simple “vertistop”, intended solely for pick-ups and drop-offs.