Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

Vertical takeoff and landing, VTOL, Vertiport, Urban air mobility, Scenario planning


Rapid evolvement of the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) technology in conjunction with recent robust R&D has demonstrated the technical feasibility of the civil VTOL system as a short-haul mass transit mode. Its combined benefits of a helicopter and a turboprop into one aircraft is expected to become an effective remedy for congested air traffic and difficulties with airport expansions in the metropolitan areas along with the potential benefit to improve accessibility to population centers and remote areas where conventional aircraft cannot access.

In this study, based on a the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal (PESTEL) factors and Technology Readiness Level (TRL) analysis, a scenario-based strategic plan for the civil VTOL transport mode was proposed on a 20-year timeframe and three key strategic factors were identified: 1) sustainable VTOL technology as an enabler, 2) VTOL infrastructure and procedure as an operation platform, and 3) integration of the VTOL technology into the existing air transportation system as a differentiator.

While many socio-economic and regulatory gaps were found from this study to integrate civil VTOL aircraft into the current commercial aviation system, the integrative mode of the civil VTOL transport exhibits potentials to tackle the current challenges of the aviation industry to enhance air-mobility between the intra- and inter-city transport and provide passengers with significant benefits to reduce transportation costs and travel time.

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