Advanced air mobility: Looking at new technologies, persistent wildlife challenges, and applying the lessons learned

Advanced air mobility: Looking at new technologies, persistent wildlife challenges, and applying the lessons learned

Lisa Harmon
Aviation and Environmental Planner
Mead & Hunt, Inc.
180 Promenade Circle, Suite 240
Sacramento, California, USA 95834
1 (191) 699-3465

Isabel C. Metz
Institute of Flight Guidance
German Aerospace Center DLR
Lilienthalplaty 7, 38108 Braunschweig, Germany


Cerian S Henshaw
Director of Operations

Aviaire Limited
Newlands, Sion Hill, Bath, BANES, BA1 2UW, United Kingdom
(44) 7879999437

Abstract: Original Aircraft Manufacturers (OEMs), regulatory agencies, and communities throughout the world are preparing for the advent of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) during the next five years. AAM envisions the use of highly automated, short-range, high automated, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to move people and cargo at altitudes below 4,000 feet above ground level (AGL); however, more than 30 years of wildlife strike data indicate that approximately 92% of wildlife strikes for commercial aircraft occur at or below 3,500 feet AGL, indicating that AAM operations will face increased exposure to wildlife strike risks. Moreover, the comparatively small size of UAM aircraft, proposed cruising speeds of up to 170 knots, and comparatively quieter engines are expected to reduce opportunities for threat perception and evasion by aircraft operators and wildlife. The presentation will identify both the challenges posed by AAM and how well established wildlife strike prevention measures can be adapted to meet the needs of UAM operations and how, with new technology, OEMs, regulatory agencies, aircraft operators, communities, and other stakeholders can work together to enhance safety.

Lisa Harmon

Lisa Harmon is an aviation and environmental planner with more than 20 years of experience. She manages large, multidisciplinary projects to help airport clients achieve compliance with federal, state, and local regulatory requirements. With special expertise in airport wildlife management, Lisa has worked with more than 80 airports to develop wildlife hazard assessment and management plans that comply with federal regulations while addressing aviation site-specific conditions. She has facilitated the development of wildlife hazard management programs at airports located in some of the nation’s most challenging landscapes. Lisa has spoken internationally about land use compatibility, wildlife hazard management, and advanced air mobility. She recently served as the Principal Investigator for ACRP Project 250, Program Evaluation Report Card (PERC) Tool for Wildlife Hazard Management Plans.

Isabel C. Metz

Dr. Isabel C. Metz received her M.Sc. degree in Mobility and Transportation (cum laude) from the University of Technology in Braunschweig, Germany and her PhD degree from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. In her current position at the German Aerospace Center’s Institute of Flight Guidance, she investigates the safety aspects of Urban Air Mobility operations with emphasis on the prevention of bird and drone strikes. Isabel is a member of ICAO’s Wildlife Hazard Management Expert Group.

Cerian S Henshaw

Cerian S Henshaw is Co-Founder and Director of Operations with Aviaire Ltd. She has more than 25 years of experience with notable successes in strategic planning, process development and operational delivery. Her expertise in wildlife hazard management includes specialisation in aerodrome safeguarding through improved practice in design, construction and maintenance of buildings, infrastructure and landscape. Her successes to date are paving the way to a safer operating environment for UAM, rotary and fixed-wing aircraft in the commercial, military and private sectors.

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