Local, state and federal officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the National Advanced Air Mobility Center of Excellence (NAAMCE) at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport near Dayton, Ohio.
The NAAMCE will feature a two-story, 30,000-foot building2 25,000 ft office building to house administration, laboratory, meeting and collaboration spaces2 Aircraft hangar space available to the US Air Force and private industry. The center will support the expanding work of manufacturers and operators of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) and unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Advanced Air Mobility (AAM).
Vermont’s Beta Technologies, California’s Joby Aviation and Texas-based LIFT Aircraft are already using the airport to support the development of eVTOL. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) worked with the State of Ohio to develop SkyVision, a system to build and operate a ground-based detection and avoidance system (GBDAA) at the site. In 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration granted AFRL permission for UAS to fly outside of the line of sight at the airport.
The City of Springfield, the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC), JobsOhio and the State of Ohio have worked closely with the AFRL and its organizations AFWERX Agility Prime program to accelerates the development of commercial eVTOL technology supporting the Air Force’s need for resilient distributed logistics and sustainable mobility. The new facility is 30 minutes’ drive from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and AFRL. The NAAMCE is scheduled to open in September 2023.
The Department of Defense approved a $6 million grant from the Defense Community Infrastructure Program to support the project in 2021. With additional state and local government funding, the overall investment in the site will be exceeded 10 million dollars.
The state of Ohio and Dayton’s regional governments are attempting to utilize the Center of Excellence and existing aerospace facilities to attract AAM manufacturing to the area. State officials appreciate that Economic Impact of AAM in Ohio Reach $13 billion by 2045 and create 15,000 related jobs if the state continues to invest in AAM activities.
The groundbreaking took place on the second day of the National Advanced Air Mobility Industry Forum, a showcase for Ohio’s collaborative aviation ecosystem and supply chain. Exhibitors included representatives from the region’s research and development, aerospace manufacturing, colleges and universities, and human resource development resources. Panel discussions included industry representatives from Joby Aviation, LIFT Aircraft, Lilium, Beta Technologies and Workhorse Group, as well as government officials from the FAA, NASA and the US Air Force. Topics for discussion included eVTOL progress to date, AAM aircraft certification and integration into national airspace, healthcare use cases and partnerships with federal agencies.