Senate Panels Approves AAM Working-group Bill

 - May 13, 2021, 11:49 AM
(Photo: Heather Trautvetter)

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill on Wednesday to establish a federal interagency working group to develop a national strategy and foster the emergence of the advanced air mobility sector. The Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Coordination and Leadership Act, S.516, was among several bills the panel passed, clearing the measures for full Senate action.

Introduced earlier this year along with a companion bill in the House (H.R.1339), the AAM Coordination and Leadership Act calls on the Secretary of Transportation to establish the working group, which would make recommendations on the federal role in the AAM sector. In addition to certification and operations, the bill seeks a focus on economic and workforce opportunities, physical and cybersecurity risks, and supply chain and infrastructure development.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), enjoys strong industry support. “Advanced Air Mobility is a new and innovative sector of aviation which has the potential to facilitate additional transportation options, create jobs and economic activity, advance environmental sustainability and new technologies, and support emergency preparedness and competitiveness,” said Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. “The Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act directs the federal government to take a leadership role to help facilitate the highest level of societal benefit as these transformative and sustainable aircraft are more fully introduced into the national airspace system.” 

Other bills of note to the aviation community approved on Wednesday included the Ensuring Health Safety in the Skies Act, S.82, to establish a joint government task force to develop recommendations to address health, safety, security, and logistics surrounding air travel and airport operations resumption during and after the Covid-19 health emergency.

Also approved was the Fly Safe and Healthy Act, S.316, which seeks a pilot program for passenger temperature checks and, while not specific to aviation, another bill, S.1037, would expand the Department of Commerce’s manufacturing.gov website to highlight government programs with a focus on areas such as trade, small businesses, and workforce development.