MassDOT selected by NASA for air mobility partnership


An idea for a future air taxi hovers over a municipal vertiport in this NASA illustration. Experts from NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility mission have signed agreements with four states and one city to host a series of workshops that will help local governments prepare their transportation plans to include this new form of air travel.
Credits: NASA / Lillian Gipson and Kyle Jenkins

BOSTON –The Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division has been selected by NASA for NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Community Planning and Integration Partnership Opportunity.  

NASA announced Friday that they are going to partner, collaborate, and exchange information with Massachusetts and four other locations chosen across the nation for this opportunity:  Ohio, Minnesota, Orlando, and North Central Texas. The MassDOT Aeronautics team includes Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Beta Technologies, MassAutonomy, Massport, the MIT International Center for Air Transportation (ICAT), the Northeastern University Kostas Research Institute (KRI), Regent Craft, Shoreline Aviation of Marshfield Airport, The UMass Amherst Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), and US Air Realty.  

NASA’s program will work with communities to integrate a new, green, quiet, and equitable mobility option that will leverage these next generation air vehicles. Some industry advocates suggest that in the not-too-distant future, (perhaps in the years 2025-2030), the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft will operate as sort of Uber/Lyft-in-the-air. The new aircraft are mostly electric fueled and powered, and it is essential that this new mobility option is integrated into existing and planned transportation systems. AAM includes the movement of people and goods and is expected to be systematically introduced starting in rural areas, then suburban, and ultimately urban environs. 

“MassDOT Aeronautics is pleased to have been accepted by NASA for this partnership opportunity as we have been collaborating with other entities already in an effort to make the Commonwealth of Massachusetts an early adopter location for advanced air mobility operations,” said MassDOT Aeronautics Administrator Dr. Jeffrey DeCarlo.  “Massachusetts is looking to be at the forefront of early community demonstrations, policy solutions, and initial operations and we feel privileged to be working with team members who are true visionaries and global thought leaders from academia, industry, and government.” 

Information from NASA on the program can be found on their website.

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