The Aviation Week Network hosted a three-day mini symposium in Hall 5, in the middle of the AAM vehicle display. The program started with a forecasting session from Sergio Cecutta, SMG Partners, that transitioned into a CEO panel featuring the leaders from Archer, Lilium, Volocopter and Wisk. Aviation Week Editorial Director Joe Anselmo held a fire-side chat with Balkiz Sarihan, CEO and Head of Urban Air Mobility at Airbus, where she laid out the Airbus vision for AAM, autonomy and decarbonization. Aviation Week Executive Editor for Technology Graham Warwick interviewed JoeBen Bevirt, CEO and founder of Joby Aviation, who provided an update on the Joby business, including the emergence of the first production aircraft, status of testing and certification.
Several more panels were held on important and relevant topics to the advanced air mobility ecosystem, including the regulatory environment, emerging technologies and sustainable solutions, infrastructure, airspace, operations and more.
VFS Executive Director Angelo Collins participated in the “Future-Ready Workforce — Bridging the Skills Gap,” along with Dr. Barry Butler, President of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Tosha Perkins, Chief People Officer (CPO) of Archer; Lucie Prinz, CPO of Volocopter; Eric Fanning, President and CEO of Aerospace Industries Association (AIA); and Simon Azar, VP of Strategy for Civil Aviation at CAE.
Collins spoke to the critical need to dedicate more funding for the Vertical Lift Research Centers of Excellence (VLRCOEs) so that there are opportunities for students to study these relevant technical domains and begin their life of passionate service to the VTOL community. Collins also pointed to recent accomplishments, such as the University of Maryland Aerospace Department’s decision to adjust the student curriculum for additional undergraduate electives in rotarywing flight and AAM disciplines. Opportunities to present these exciting topics to young engineers while they are still undergraduates is critical to ensuring the future workforce is ready to tackle the AAM problems in the near future.
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