An Airport-Centric Study of the Urban Air Mobility Market

Urban air mobility (UAM) is a new and rapidly evolving market, broadly characterized as the local, on-demand movement of people and goods by air using a range of piloted, semi-autonomous, and fully autonomous systems. UAM will affect the airport industry, yet there is little airport-specific research on the topic. Airports need to understand and anticipate the impacts and opportunities of the UAM market, including anticipated market growth, vehicle types and uses, operations and management, community and environmental impacts, regulatory changes, financial implications, and other issues. The objective of this research is to produce a report that assesses the potential impacts of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) on airports of different sizes and having different levels of activity. The report should include, at a minimum: (1) A discussion of the UAM market, including technologies, regulatory environment, use cases (e.g., passenger, cargo, and air ambulance), activity projections, and financial viability; (2) A discussion of potential short- and long-term UAM impacts and opportunities for the airport industry; (3) Tools (e.g., matrices, Venn diagrams, flow charts, decision trees) to provide insight into how an individual airport's unique characteristics and local socioeconomic conditions could define a potential range of impacts and opportunities from UAM; (4) Planning considerations for airports to prepare for the range of identified impacts and opportunities for the following subjects: (a) Passenger, cargo, and aircraft activity; (b) Operations and maintenance; (c) Short-term and long-term airside, terminal, and landside facility requirements; (d) Financing, including revenue generation; (e) Safety and security; (f) Community (e.g., noise, environmental, and compatible land use); (g) Stakeholders (e.g., tenants and business partners); and (h) Opportunities for business development. (5) Case study examples (a) describing current and emerging uses of UAM at airports and (b) illustrating how airports could apply the tools and considerations above; and (6) List of resources and contacts to help airports learn more about and engage in UAM. STATUS Research is complete. Publication of results expected in the summer of 2022.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $350000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 03-50

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Navarrete, Joseph

  • Performing Organizations:


    One Penn Plaza
    250 W 34th Street
    New York, New York  United States  10119
  • Principal Investigators:

    Mallela, Jagannath

  • Start Date: 20190703
  • Expected Completion Date: 20211115
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01677268
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 03-50
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 31 2018 7:57PM