AEA Pilot's Guide 2023-2024 - 63

As an uncrewed aircraft, the Wisk eVTOL will have to live
in the same airspace as crewed aircraft. " We cannot have a
separate set of rules, " Corona said. " But we want routes that
currently don't exist. The way we are framing the problem
is we will operate on a fixed route network in an urban
environment from point A to B. We are not going to fly like
a police or news helicopter in a random pattern. The routes
will be very predictable. That's where we see this business
headed. "
There will be letters of agreements with ATC facilities
where Wisk operates, and Wisk will propose 4D tailored
flights using trajectory-based operations. The route will be
defined with latitude, longitude and altitude with the fourth
dimension being time. Everything will start small under VFR,
then grow to 4D trajectories.
Wisk has partnered with London-based Skyports,
a designer and developer of vertiports, to integrate
autonomous eVTOL aircraft into vertiport operations.
While AAM services will initially begin with piloted
vehicles, Wisk and Skyports believe autonomy is needed
to unlock the scalability, accessibility and affordability
needed to realize the potential of the market. The partners
are examining aircraft capabilities and requirements,
passenger accommodation, schedule management, final
approach and takeoff management and airspace design.
As part of this effort, Wisk and Skyports have published
their own ConOps document to explore how autonomous
operations can be conducted at vertiports.
" We think the industry, meaning OEMs, operators and
vertiport managers, can bring together the information
systems and take responsibility for management and
deconfliction on the surface of a vertiport, " Corona
said. " What we are doing is we are creating a system
that will not add workload to ATC controllers. If we take
responsibility for management and coordination on the
surface, this could accelerate our entry into that airspace. "
In the Wisk ConOps, a fleet operations center
coordinates all operations in an urban environment and
will have an operational picture of what is happening
on the vertiport surface. Wisk aircraft operations will
have humans " over the loop " overseeing navigation and
communications. " What we will take advantage of is what
technology does really well - robotic computer sensing, "
Corona said. " Putting humans on the ground and
providing them with situational awareness we are arguing
is better than having a pilot on board. That individual on
the ground provides oversight within the network and can
intervene by exception if things aren't going to plan. " All
of this brings operational costs down and will help resolve
the pilot shortage.
The FAA is currently taking initial steps in operationalizing
trajectory-based operations in the national airspace system.
A longer-term goal is to provide " full and dynamic TBO, "
including functions such as 4D trajectory management.
The FAA's automation systems communicate with one
another and can already model and exchange trajectories.
In addition, the agency has demonstrated it can exchange
individual trajectories between the aircraft and FAA systems
for more precise individual flight modeling. A series of
working level investigations and demonstrations are
underway with the FAA and international partners to show,
for example, how information exchanges and messages
work in supporting a TBO environment among groups of
nations. TBO includes airspace design with PBN procedures
to improve strategic and tactical air traffic flow as well as
improving the precision of FAA's conflict alerts.
Some think the coming of UTM provides an opportunity
for the FAA to develop TBO in low-altitude airspace for
air taxis and then move it to traditional airspace at higher
altitudes where airlines, business jets and piston-powered
aircraft operate.
Steve Fulton has been working on government/industry
committees engaged in efforts to improve the efficiency of
air navigation for 30 years, and he sees the UTM arena
as " white space " where new techniques such as TBO can
be tried and perfected. He developed the first required
navigation performance procedures in Juno, Alaska, for
Alaska Airlines. He then formed a company that developed
performance-based navigation procedures in Canada, the
United States, China, Australia, New Zealand and South
America. PBN will be key to achieving TBO.
What it will take more than anything to make TBO happen
is good leadership. " There needs to be a focused, driving
force with clarity and single-mindedness on policy to get us
from here to there, " Fulton said.
John Walker, a former FAA executive and now an
air traffic consultant, said airspace redesign will also be
key to accommodating eVTOLs and to achieving TBO.
He maintains that airspace is an important part of NAS
infrastructure that is often overlooked while it is the key to
modernization.
" Airspace is designed like a 1955 Chevy, and we are
trying to put a Tesla with 2023 bells and whistles in it, " Walker
said. He maintains that airspace as it is designed now can't
sustain the growth of eVTOLs and UAS, so changes will
have to be made. q
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AEA Pilot's Guide 2023-2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AEA Pilot's Guide 2023-2024

AEA Pilot's Guide 2023-2024 - Intro
AEA Pilot's Guide 2023-2024 - Cover1
AEA Pilot's Guide 2023-2024 - Cover2
AEA Pilot's Guide 2023-2024 - 1
AEA Pilot's Guide 2023-2024 - 2
AEA Pilot's Guide 2023-2024 - 3
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AEA Pilot's Guide 2023-2024 - Cover3
AEA Pilot's Guide 2023-2024 - Cover4
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