Urban Air Mobility White Paper

ASD's White Paper on Urban air management and sustainable development, providing a comprehensive framework and guidance for stakeholders

All urban mobility stakeholders must work together to engage with the public and the mobility ecosystem, to look into the opportunities and challenges, and unfold the significant potential of sustainable Urban Air Mobility. The European aerospace industry has a key role to play in this endeavour, both as a driver and enabler of innovation

Vincent De Vroey, ASD Civil Aviation Director

The Aerospace, Security and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) published a White Paper on Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and sustainable development. The report – conducted by Envisa, a leading research and sustainable aviation company – was elaborated with the support of several companies and associations, including Agoria, Airbus, Avio Aero, BDLI, FACC, GIFAS, Leonardo, Rolls-Royce, SAAB and TEDAE.

The White Paper aims to meet two main needs of parties involved in the development of UAM:

  • Raise awareness about all the challenges and benefits related to UAM;
  • Develop a UAM Sustainability Framework for deploying a sustainable UAM.

The overall objective is to proactively tackle the current challenges with regards to UAM and provide an innovative, first of its kind systematic guidance for a broad range of stakeholders, including industry, regulators, policy makers and end-users, for addressing a truly sustainable development of UAM.

The study presents a comprehensive sustainability framework for UAM for the potential use by a broad range of stakeholders.

Embedded in a holistic approach, it considers important parameters such as (i) the energy efficiency of UAM applications when coupled with the societal impact they yield, (ii) their wider desirability by citizens (not just users), and (iii) total emissions released based upon an entire life cycle analysis approach.       

Urban air mobility – to be included as a key element of a broader Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) concept – is expected to become an important complementary factor to current transport modes with the potential to reduce both costs and environmental impacts of transport. The European Commission expects drone services – as one transport means of UAM – to be part of our everyday lives by 2030, e.g. for infrastructure inspections, surveillance operations, medical emergency equipment deliveries and parcel deliveries.

Due to technological advances in UAM including in electric propulsion, advanced lightweight materials, aircraft architecture and digitalisation of air traffic management, market introduction is expected within the next five years. Regulators are responding by progressively developing and putting in place policies for the deployment of UAM services.

White Paper on Urban Air Mobility and Sustainable Development

Dowload ASD's White Paper on Urban Air Mobility and sustainable development. Published by ASD in February 2023.