By Katie Gilmore
MnDOT Aeronautics UAS Program Manager 

MnDOT, NASA Move Forward With Collaboration

Partnership Will Explore Advanced Air Mobility


September 1, 2021

Photo Courtesy MnDOT Aeronautics

Minnesota is one of five government entities chosen to participate in Advanced Air Mobility planning workshops with NASA.

In June, the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Aeronautics office announced that it had signed a Collaborative Partnership agreement with NASA's Advanced Air Mobility team to plan for the future of aviation.

The partnership will support Minnesota's goals as the state plans for a future where advanced technology cargo aircraft and passenger air taxi services are integrated into Minnesota's multimodal transportation network.

Minnesota is one of five government entities chosen to participate in Advanced Air Mobility planning workshops with NASA.

The partnership consists of a series of five workshops designed to help identify and address key barriers to the integration of Advanced Air Mobility in//throughout the state.

Advanced Air Mobility aircraft are generally described as electric battery powered, highly autonomous, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft capable of carrying two to six passengers, or equivalent cargo.

Development of this new type of aircraft is being driven by advancements in technologies such as batteries, and future

market potential.

"These new electric, vertical take-off aircraft are currently undergoing testing, maturing quickly, and represent the future of a greener, more adaptable aviation option in Minnesota," said Cassandra Isackson, MnDOT aeronautics director. "Advanced Air Mobility services show great promise to provide localized aviation services that are broadly accessible, equitable, sustainable, and serve all Minnesotans."

NASA will work in collaboration with the five selected entities to draft a "Best Practices" document that will support the early adoption and integration of Advanced Air Mobility technologies across the United States.

The other NASA AAM partners include the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the North Central Texas Council

of Governments, the Ohio Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of the Ohio Department of Transportation, and the City of Orlando, Florida.

MnDOT and NASA kicked off their partnership with the first in a series of workshops on June 16. The series will continue through mid-2022 and are co-led by MnDOT and NASA. At the workshops, MnDOT, airports, municipalities, and other stakeholders from various disciplines across Minnesota work with NASA's Advanced Air Mobility team to identify areas of opportunity and concern with Advanced Air Mobility integration. NASA's team will provide expertise to address integration concerns, such as noise and infrastructure requirements. The NASA team will also support core opportunities such as public engagement.

Results from the MnDOT-NASA partnership will be used to inform MnDOT's Air Mobility Strategic Plan, which is being developed now.

MnDOT's strategic plan will balance industry advancement with strategic transportation planning that provides Minnesotans the opportunity to benefit from these new Advanced Air Mobility technologies in a way that best supports our communities. While these new technologies continue to be refined and developed by private industry over the next several years, MnDOT will continue to plan for this new phase of air transportation to benefit the citizens and businesses of Minnesota through planning, innovation, engagement, and through targeted partnerships such as the recently signed partnership with NASA.

To stay up to date about AAM in Minnesota, visit

To learn more about NASA's Advanced Air Mobility Program, visit

To learn more about MnDOT's activities, you can contact MnDOT at


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