Boeing and Wisk release roadmap for transition to UAM operations


Boeing and Wisk have published a roadmap for “transitioning to a future where automated and uncrewed aircraft can safely carry passengers and cargo” in urban areas.

The roadmap lays out the technology, regulatory and social questions that need answering to launch UAM in the US and include those operations in the national airspace system.

Brian Yutko, vice president and chief engineer, Sustainability & Future Mobility, Boeing said: “We’re working to enable a future of aerospace that is safe, sustainable and at scale. Uncrewed operations will be fundamental to realising that vision, and we have to exceed the current safety standards for the air transportation system.”

Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk, which has been working on the US’ first all-electric, self-flying air taxi, said: “The vision we have outlined is the result of many years of collaboration with Boeing, the FAA, NASA and key industry stakeholders. As a result, this document offers the most comprehensive framework proposed to date with a vision for enabling UAM in the national airspace. Wisk is committed to deliver, with its partners, on this vision.”

Boeing and Wisk say that “evolutionary and pragmatic methods” will be needed to make UAM a reality. This includes new infrastructure such as vertiports, locations where UAM aircraft can take off and land, load and unload passengers, and receive services.

Also, while the aircraft will be automated, Boeing and Wisk recommend the creation of fleet operations centres where multi-vehicle supervisors will monitor flights and implement air traffic control instructions to maintain aircraft separation.

Yutko added: “The work we’ve done with our partners at Wisk demonstrates how this shared vision can become reality, and we’re excited to share these ‘con ops’ with public, government, policy and regulatory stakeholders to engage across industry to shape that future.”