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Virginia Action for Advanced Air Mobility

Virginia Takes Major Action to Prepare Airport Infrastructure for Advanced Air Mobility

To prepare the 65 public-use airports in Virginia for the arrival of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) vehicles, the Virginia Aviation Board (VAB) and the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV) are making funding available to support bringing 3-phase electrical power and broadband connectivity to these airports.

Having 3-phase power and broadband connectivity at all airports in Virginia is vital to the operations of AAM service providers.  Three-phase electric enables providers to recharge the batteries that supply power to the aircraft, and broadband connectivity enables command, control and communication features that enhance the safe operation of these aircraft.

The Board’s action makes up to $200,000 available to each airport that is interested in improving its readiness for the launch of AAM services.  Under this initiative, eligible projects approved by the VAB during the current calendar year will benefit from a state participation rate of 95 percent, meaning the airport will be responsible for just 5 percent of the project expenditures.  (Typically, the DOAV provides up to 80 percent of approved costs of utility-type projects and requires that 20 percent of the cost be borne by the airport owner.)

“Virginia wants to remain a national leader in aviation, and the action of the VAB in approving funding for 3-phase power and broadband connectivity is a tangible demonstration of this,” said Greg Campbell, director of the DOAV.  “We want everyone in the nascent AAM industry to know that Virginia not only welcomes them but is financially supporting the industry and our communities by ensuring critical infrastructure is available to them for the safe operation of these vehicles.”

While the Commonwealth of Virginia does not own any of the 65 public-use airports in the state, the DOAV provides about $40 million in annual financial assistance to cities, towns, counties and other governmental subdivisions for the planning, development, construction, and operation of airports, landing fields, and other aviation facilities.

 VAB Chairman Randall Burdette said, “Airports are not only important economic engines for their communities, but they also provide tremendous quality of life benefits for everyone in those communities.  The aviation industry in Virginia employs more than 146,600 people and generates more than $25 billion in economic activity annually.  Studies show that Advanced Air Mobility will add thousands of new high-paying jobs and another $16 billion to the Virginia economy.  Investing in critical infrastructure to support AAM at our 65 public-use airports will provide tremendous dividends and change the way Virginians move from point A to point B.”