Global Aerospace Editorial Team, February 22, 2024

Autonomous driverless aerial vehicle fly across city

At the same time, as some companies edge closer to beginning flight services, the question of exactly what the passenger experience will look like comes into sharper focus.

Chief among the benefits targeted for potential travelers is time-saving. A McKinsey & Company survey on consumers’ views on UAM in 2021 found that 35% of U.S. travelers prioritized saving time over anything else, with 47% of Brazilian travelers highlighting the same. This may indicate that ground transportation issues are key to creating a worthwhile alternative. In a distant second place for U.S. passengers, with only 15%, was the novelty factor of flying in a eVTOL.

How Can Time Be Saved for a Downtown-to-Airport Connection?

At a December 2023 event in New York City designed to bring attention to the city’s bona fides as fertile ground for urban air transport and seek bids to develop the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, NYC Mayor Eric Adams cited safety and sustainability among the critical objectives. Those familiar with the geography of Manhattan and the traffic issues associated with its connections to major local airports will appreciate the potential benefits UAM will bring in avoiding ground traffic, too.

What Does True Convenience Look Like for UAM?

More affluent travelers, likely to be early adopters of services, typically take a ride share or car service directly from their home or place of work to their local airport. Having navigated security and purchased a cup of coffee, arrival at the departure gate 20 to 30 minutes after reaching the airport…