House passes bill to fund electric air taxi infrastructure

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U.K.-based Vertical Aerospace last year agreed to build electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
U.K.-based Vertical Aerospace last year agreed to build electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. Photo Credit: American Airlines

A bill passed by the House of Representatives would seed development of electric air taxi infrastructure such as vertiports, electric charging and fueling stations, and connectivity to existing transportation hubs.

The Advanced Aviation Infrastructure Modernization Act would create a two-year, $25 million pilot grant program, with funds awarded to state, local and tribal governments. The measure passed the House by a vote of 338 to 73.

Around the globe, 100-plus companies are developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (EVTOL).

Widespread certification and adoption of such craft could begin as soon as the latter half of this decade. 

EVTOL developers are promising to deliver fast intra-urban transport at affordable rates. But building out infrastructure will be a key.

"The innovations coming out of the aviation sector are incredible," said Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), who is the leading Republican on the House Aviation Subcommittee. "The problem is that the only places we will see these technologies is in Star Wars films or in other countries. This bill helps to ensure we are ready for the technology and benefits that come along with it."

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