The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) recently hosted its inaugural Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Industry Day, an event that underscored the Aviation Authority’s efforts to bring the future of air transportation to the region.
AAM is a rapidly emerging aviation system that includes small aircraft with electric vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. The highly automated aircraft will move people and cargo in faster, more efficient, and environmentally-friendly ways – easing urban congestion, a regular challenge for a growing Central Florida.
“As the southeast region’s leading multimodal hub, we are committed to being a leader in the race to advance and implement this transportation revolution,” said Kevin J. Thibault, CEO, GOAA. “The Aviation Authority has been involved in intensive planning to make on-airport Advanced Air Mobility a reality. As we collaborated with Lake Nona on their planned vertiport, we’ve collectively agreed that the best location for the vertiport is at a proposed Aerospace Center of Excellence (ACE) on airport land. To meet this emerging technology, collaboration is key and our location is in keeping with the Aerotropolis (Airport City) concept. We will continue to work with Lake Nona to advance the first announced eVTOL hub network in the U.S., which will benefit the state of Florida.”
“The Advanced Air Mobility industry applauds the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and City of Orlando working together to ensure their community is ready to maximize the benefits of AAM operations in their region,” said Matt Byrd, National Business Aviation Association AAM Roundtable Chair. “The Central Florida region continues to be a leader, not just in planning for AAM but also in bringing together private sector partners to ensure Orlando is one of the first commercial AAM markets.”
The day’s program provided an overview of GOAA’s AAM plan along with panel discussions about the future of AAM in Central Florida and facility planning and implementation needs. Speakers included:
- Kevin J. Thibault, CEO, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
- Jacques Coulon, City of Orlando
- Elizabeth Sila, Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International
- Dr. Adan Vela, University of Central Florida
The event showcased the region’s alignment in system planning and highlighted its ability to create a workforce pipeline for advanced manufacturing or research.
“Our goal is to demonstrate that the Aviation Authority is ready to help pave the way in these areas for the betterment of the region,” said Thibault.
Orlando International Airport is managed by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which is governed by a seven-member board; the Mayor of the City of Orlando, the Mayor of Orange County, and five other members who are appointed by the Governor of the State of Florida, subject to confirmation of the Senate.