Airports and the rise of eVTOL

Beth Bernitt, Senior Vice President and Co-Leader, Global eVTOL Initiative, AECOM, et al.

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Abstract: A new form of aircraft — electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) — holds the potential to upend the transportation industry. Some eVTOLs are crosses between a helicopter and a traditional aeroplane, combining the vertical take-off of helicopters with the horizontal flight of aeroplanes. Others take on a more drone-like appearance. They are the next wave in aviation innovation and are expected to be flying as soon as 2025. As with any new and evolving industry, there are a myriad of questions to be answered. Here we discuss the advent of the eVTOL industry, why airports should be paying attention, and the impacts this new form of transportation may have on airports and their functions, including eVTOL-specific energy, aviation, regulation, emergency and infrastructure needs.


Keywords: eVTOL; energy; infrastructure; regulation; commercial; aviation; emergency


Beth Bernitt is co-leader of AECOM's global eVTOL initiative, consisting of a multi-disciplinary team of architectural, aviation and transportation professionals. She also leads the emerging technology and logistics practice, which encompasses the design of infrastructure supporting the deployment of emerging technologies, data centres and logistics facilities. Additionally, Beth is a regional managing principal for the Buildings + Places practice, overseeing the design studio in the firm’s New York Metro office.

Crawford Burden is a business development, strategy and advisory leader with over 20 years of consulting and industry experience across a variety of disciplines within the transport sector, with a specific focus on aviation. As managing director, global aviation, Europe and India, Crawford is responsible for AECOM's aviation strategy and business development activities in the Europe and India regions.

Jan Moeller With nearly two decades of experience, Jan Moeller focuses on strategic airport, aviation and air cargo client development. Embedded in AECOM's strong commitment towards ESG, Jan drives collaboration, innovation and delivery excellence for and with clients while advancing the firm's full lifecycle portfolio of aviation projects. Prior to joining AECOM, Jan led the business development activities of airports, enabling him to draw upon his in-depth understanding of the airline business and operations models, as well as the air logistics industry. He holds a master's degree in industrial engineering with an emphasis on aeronautical engineering and airport/airline management.

John Sulsona is the advanced air mobility (AAM) and helicopter lead for AECOM's aviation division. John has 18 years of experience in complex engineering design and is known for his ability to innovate and solve complex aviation challenges. He holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado and is currently pursuing his PhD in Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota with a focus on AAM. As a senior aviation planner, he has led planning efforts for numerous airports around the world. A writer and licensed pilot, John is focused on providing solutions to manage the aviation challenges of today and tomorrow.



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