Project AMEC is demonstrating the feasibility of a UK Advanced Air Mobility ecosystem using Vertical Aerospace’s emission-free VX4 eVTOL aircraft.
In support of this, NATS has created and delivered a concept of operations for airspace management in such an ecosystem. Additionally, the eVTOL flights are supported via new applications that are showcasing the potential for future interactions and integration. eVTOL operators file their flight plans via an app, which is then approved or amended as required, a process that takes just minutes. The whole flight is entirely deconflicted from other aircraft before even taking off, with the ‘Airspace Manager’ function monitoring the airspace from a digital ‘master control room’.
This proposed concept strikes a balance between ensuring safety and providing airspace access without adding to the workload of air traffic controllers or pilots. It also opens the door to existing regional airports to become mixed-use ‘vertiports’ with eVTOLs operating seamlessly alongside existing traffic, offering a valuable new source of income and diversification.
In 2024, two physical flights are planned to take place between Bristol Airport and an airfield in Southwest England, and between two London area airports. The demonstrations will explore key aspects of the passenger journey, vehicle operation, ground infrastructure and airspace integration.
The AMEC consortium members are Vertical Aerospace, Virgin Atlantic, AtkinsRéalis, Skyports, NATS, Connected Places Catapult, Cranfield University and WMG - University of Warwick , Bristol Airport, London City Airport and Heathrow Airport.