The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced that it will partner with NASA in an effort to plan for the future of aviation where advanced technology cargo aircraft and passenger air taxi services provide more dynamic aviation options to serve Minnesota’s communities.
“These new electric, vertical take-off aircraft are currently undergoing testing, maturing quickly, and represent the future of a greener, more adaptable aviation option in Minnesota,” said Cassandra Isackson, MnDOT office of Aeronautics director. “Advanced Air Mobility services show great promise to provide localized aviation services that are broadly accessible, equitable, sustainable, and serve all Minnesotans. We look forward to working with NASA and a broad range of local experts to help Minnesota plan for these new technologies.”
The MnDOT-NASA partnership will include a series of workshops where MnDOT and stakeholders from across the state work with NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility team to identify areas of opportunity and concern regarding Advanced Air Mobility integration and discuss strategies for future engagement and planning. Workshop participants will include partners from local governments, airport authorities and operators, universities, vehicle and subsystem manufacturers, infrastructure providers, workforce development organizations and others.
The series of five workshops will be facilitated by NASA and are set to begin in June 2021. The workshops will address many topics related to AAM – from identifying a common set of terms to use in AAM planning efforts, to evaluating criteria that might be used to develop future “vertiports” for vertical takeoff and landing aircraft – and much more.
Minnesota is one of five government entities chosen to participate in aviation planning workshops with NASA. The other entities include the Massachusetts Department of Transportation; the North Central Texas Council of Governments Department of Transportation; the Ohio Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of the Ohio Department of Transportation; and the City of Orlando, Florida.
To stay up to date about AAM in Minnesota, visit https://www.dot.state.mn.us/aero.
To learn more about NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility Program, visit https://www.nasa.gov/aam.