GAMA Hosts Final Day of Uber Elevate Summit

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) yesterday hosted the final day of the Uber Elevate Summit in Dallas, Texas, along with the second training session about the U.S. government’s Part 23 rule rewrite for the design of small airplanes.

“The attendance at this event indicates the high-level of interest in this fast growing sector of general aviation,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce, who provided opening remarks for the day. “GAMA is proud to help lead the way through the work of our Electric Propulsion and Innovation Committee, assuring the hybrid and electric propulsion industry can shepherd innovation into the traditional regulatory regimes governing the design and operation of aircraft.”

Uber Elevate, an associate member of GAMA, is a project aimed at enabling urban, on-demand air transportation through a network of electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. Uber is working with manufacturers, regulators and government officials to accelerate the development, certification, and deployment of VTOL aircraft. With this three-day summit, the first event of its kind, the company hopes to build awareness about the Elevate mission, detail its role in the ecosystem, identify and accelerate opportunities to collaborate within the community, and define a path towards initial urban eVTOL operations.

In late 2015, GAMA created an associate member category and an Electric Propulsion and Innovation Committee (EPIC) to facilitate and represent the general aviation industry’s hybrid and electric propulsion efforts as well as focus its ongoing safety improvement initiatives toward increased aircraft automation. Committee membership has quickly grown, with over 50 companies now represented on the committee, which is collaboratively working toward establishing global standards for the industry.

“Without the new environment created by the Part 23 rule rewrite, there would be significant constraints and even some barriers for the types of technology discussed at this conference,” said Bunce. “New battery technology, new electronics, a better understanding of software, and new regulations like the Part 23/CS-23 rule will enable these projects to be successful.”