“This new ICAO-IFAR agreement will be transformative in permitting the research community to participate in a more dynamic and effective manner with ICAO,” remarked  ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar in April 2022 when signing the Memorandum of Understanding with IFAR. Close to the first anniversary of the excellent collaboration, ICAO invited IFAR to attend an informal Council Briefing on March 21, 2023 in Montréal.

The occasion: 80 international scientists have worked for more than 2 years – coordinated by DLR, NASA and NRC Canada- on a Scientific Assessment for Urban Air Mobility, which has been presented to the ICAO Council. As an independent scientific statement from 27 of the world’s leading aeronautics research institutions, the document has been welcomed by ICAO. It will be used as one of the reference document by the newly established ICAO Advanced Air Mobility Study Group (AAM SG).

The document highlights the need for further international assessments on economic and societal factors associated with UAM, common understanding of the extent to which the nascent industry can leverage current infrastructure and regulatory structures, and harmonization of industrywide terminology. Further scientific key takeaways include: the need for further studies of the impact of autonomous systems on the industry; infrastructure requirements (including vertiports and weather sensing) to support the industry; and data requirements (including domains such as cybersecurity, emissions, and safety) to ensure safe, scalable operations. In addition to the IFAR presentation to the ICAO Council, IFAR representatives met ICAO’s Secretary General, as well as officials from ICAO.

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The Scientific Assessment is available for download at: www.ifar.aero