Avionics News October 57-10 - 31

T

he aviation industry as a whole is deeply
the impact of COVID-19 on the industry as near- and
long-term financial and public benefit impacts.
impacted by the COVID-19 global crisis.
One important short-term impact has been the inability
Manufacturers, airlines, repair stations, and
of staff to collaborate in person to continue the rapid
others in the industry are facing historic layoffs as much
pace of research and development. However, the existing
of the world simply stops moving.
Meanwhile, the fledgling segment of electric vertical
governmental partners, including regulatory decisiontakeoff and landing aircraft manufacturing and urban air
makers at the FAA and the European Union Aviation
mobility companies are striving to progress toward midSafety Agency, are still engaged and actively working
decade aircraft certification and operational goals.
with this industry segment.
The Federal Aviation Administration now refers to
Funding seems stable and secure for many companies,
UAM as a subset of advanced air mobility, or AAM (see
despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In general,
the FAA ConOps story for more
organizations with stable funding
information beginning on page 34).
in place prior to the pandemic are
However, this article will use the
still stable; those that struggled
A KEY FACTOR TO
industry colloquial term UAM.
financially before COVID-19 are
THE INDUSTRY'S
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis,
likely to have an even harder road
this industry segment experienced
ahead.
INSULATION FROM
a perfect storm of variables to help
CAMI believes the increased
THE COVID-19 FALLOUT
ensure its success. The FAA, the
use
of small unmanned aerial
IS THE FACT THESE
systems
for COVID-19-related
National Aeronautics and Space
COMPANIES ARE STILL
purposes such as socially distanced
Administration, and the Department
IN RESEARCH AND
urgent deliveries is acclimating the
of Defense were active and engaged
DEVELOPMENT PHASES,
public to the concept of unmanned
partners. Funding was available
NOT CURRENTLY
aircraft for medical and public
from a variety of sources - both
IN
PRODUCTION
benefit use, which could lead
domestic and international - and the
MANUFACTURING OR
technology was improving rapidly.
to more widespread acceptance
OPERATIONS
These companies now face a
of eVTOL and UAM. In other
FOR REVENUE.
less-perfect storm, but the impact
words, COVID-19 has presented
is not as severe as some might have
an unexpected demonstration
feared. Overall, Lilium and others
opportunity to show the public how
in the industry are bullish on the
UAM might work in the future.
eVTOL and UAM segment's ability to recover from the
"The greater the public benefit, the more successful the
COVID-19 crisis while remaining cognizant of the impact
UAM industry will be," explained Yolanka Wulff, CAMI's
on the aviation industry as a whole.
co-executive director. "One key is to maximize public use
A key factor to the industry's insulation from the
benefit, especially in early use cases and demonstrations."
COVID-19 fallout is the fact these companies are still
The transmissibility of COVID-19 is also leading to
greater acceptance of new work models, including more
in research and development phases, not currently in
remote work and alternating work schedule.
production manufacturing or operations for revenue.
Further, low-capacity transportation might be a favorable
"In many ways, we're fortunate that a great deal of our
addition to the overall multi-modal transportation system
focus is, today, on our final, serial aircraft, which means
in the future. It's certainly easier to maintain a small social
that work could continue, desk-based, through this period,"
bubble or conduct contact tracing on a three- or foursaid Oliver Walker-Jones, communications lead for Lilium.
passenger aircraft than on a train or bus.
"We do, however, feel very much for the wider aviation
Though conditions created by COVID-19 could lead
industry and the supply chain at this moment, and hope that
to new or expanded use cases for medical, public health,
the potential presented by the eVTOL market brings fresh
and alternative commuting schedules, the pandemic also
opportunities for confidence in the market."
creates a necessity for additional cleaning and sanitizing
The Community Air Mobility Initiative, a nonprofit
process, which might impact long-term operational
organization dedicated to educating and supporting
throughput estimates.
communities and local decision-makers in responsible
integration of "third-dimension" transportation, assesses

Continued on following page

AVIONICS NEWS

*

OCTOBER

2020

31



Avionics News October 57-10

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News October 57-10

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Avionics News October 57-10 - Intro
Avionics News October 57-10 - No label
Avionics News October 57-10 - Cover2
Avionics News October 57-10 - 1
Avionics News October 57-10 - 2
Avionics News October 57-10 - 3
Avionics News October 57-10 - 4
Avionics News October 57-10 - 5
Avionics News October 57-10 - 6
Avionics News October 57-10 - 7
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Avionics News October 57-10 - 9
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Avionics News October 57-10 - 57
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Avionics News October 57-10 - 62
Avionics News October 57-10 - 63
Avionics News October 57-10 - 64
Avionics News October 57-10 - Cover3
Avionics News October 57-10 - Cover4
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