VHB Helps San Diego Association of Governments Prepare for Advanced Air Mobility

California workshop focused on AAM readiness and future integration opportunities.

June 18, 2024

SANDAG AAM meeting attendees smiling together in a group.

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) recently brought stakeholders together to discuss advanced air mobility (AAM) preparation and develop actionable plans for future regional integration opportunities in southern California. This technical group, known as the AAM Collaborative, walked through the complexities of incorporating AAM by drawing insights from public and private industry leaders. Curt Ostrodka, VHB Director of Smart Communities, played a key role facilitating discussions on urban planning and the future of smart cities to support AAM.

The AAM Collaborative gathering is a part of comprehensive AAM implementation strategy developed by VHB and ARCADIS for SANDAG to help its member agencies and the Airport Authority prepare for AAM services in the region.

While prior AAM Collaborative meetings outlined goals for developing a connected and equitable multi-modal transportation approach in the area, this workshop delved into technical details such as potential permitting and site planning needs in coordination with local, state, and federal agencies.

“We’re excited to learn more about these emerging technologies that can transform the way we move people and goods throughout our communities,” said Curt. “These connections create the foundation to align future AAM opportunities with communities’ needs and goals.”

In addition to AAM Collaborative members, the meeting featured industry partners and representatives from the San Diego Airport, San Diego County, and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and attendees from the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Xponential conference. The diverse group held discussions highlighting different perspectives related to the community’s transportation needs and implementation strategies, fostering cross-jurisdictional collaboration. VHB provided valuable guidance on navigating regulatory landscapes and permitting processes for establishing heliport and vertiport infrastructure, including first-hand experience of developing similar plans for clients like the City of Orlando.

To learn more about VHB approach to AAM, reach out to Curt or visit our smart communities page.

Meeting attendees taking notes during a fireside chat presentation.