SC Advanced Air Mobility Meets in North Charleston

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) was a focus of the recent SC Competes Tech Talk ‘24 Conference, bringing together a panel of airport, economic development, and research experts to discuss this new technology and how it could impact South Carolina. Following the session, Stephen Astemborski, Director of Engagement & Aerospace Initiatives at SC Competes, convened the first meeting of the state’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) task force to begin a roadmap for future progress. The agenda was brimming with strategic discussion aimed at propelling the state to the forefront of AAM innovation. Let’s delve into the key highlights from this inaugural gathering.

At the heart of the meeting was a vibrant discussion on the vision and mission driving the AAM task force. Participants underscored the importance of fostering an ecosystem that champions technological innovation, economic growth, and sustainable mobility solutions. 

Another crucial aspect of the discussion centered on delineating what falls within the purview of the task force’s efforts and what lies beyond. By defining the scope, participants aimed to streamline efforts and maximize impact, with these efforts and regular meetings already underway with a variety of consortium partners.

The Task Force recognized the significance of nurturing industry clusters to bolster South Carolina’s AAM ecosystem. The launch of the SC Asset Network (SCAN) will provide an opportunity to map new developments in the AAM supply chain, as well as leverage existing technologies within both aerospace and EV. Moreover, we will be able to capitalize on our earlier SC Airports Task Force initiative that conducted a deep-dive into airport funding in South Carolina and select states.

The task force also discussed the need to produce an AAM whitepaper to define the potential benefits and challenges associated with AAM adoption in South Carolina. Additionally, pulling in our research collaborative program, SC Fraunhofer USA Alliance, these efforts can be bolstered by cutting-edge international research capabilities. 

Recognizing the pivotal role of human capital in driving AAM innovation, the task force also discussed the unique opportunities that South Carolina has to lead AAM – an existing advanced manufacturing workforce that supports a number of industry sectors (such as aerospace, agribusiness, automotive, life sciences) and the ability to bring pilot training programs like AOPA into K-12 education and beyond. 

In conclusion, the inaugural meeting of the task force served as a prime example of collaboration and innovation, laying the groundwork for a future where South Carolina emerges as a hub of Advanced Air Mobility. Coming soon, the task force will adopt a formal name and logo to unite its stakeholders to a common vision and mission.

AAM Panel Discussion as part of the 2024 Tech Talk April 10th event.

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