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Caballero’s Bill Starts Path to Space Age Urban Transportation Network



The FAA is planning for the launch of urban electric transport drones. (Shutterstock)
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State Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Merced) has positioned herself at the cutting edge of future transportation with Urban Air Mobility legislation.

What’s UAM?

“Urban Air Mobility envisions a safe and efficient aviation transportation system that will use highly automated aircraft that will operate and transport passengers or cargo at lower altitudes within urban and suburban areas,” states the Federal Aviation Administration.

After introducing SB 800, Caballero said in a news release that UAM “will reduce the current burden on road infrastructure, decrease traffic congestion, and lower harmful emissions. This new industry will leverage innovative electric aerial vehicle designs and system technologies and embrace the sharing economy to enable a novel transportation service network. California must have the regulatory framework to develop this new technology in order to compete with other states.”

The bill begins the process of evaluating state and federal law and potential changes to develop UAM operations and infrastructure.

As envisioned, the system would enable residents and businesses to access on-demand air mobility, cargo and package delivery, healthcare applications, and emergency services through an integrated and connected multimodal network.

Where Will UAM Aircraft Land?

According to the FAA, “the initial UAM ecosystem will use existing helicopter infrastructure such as routes, helipads, and Air Traffic Control services, where practicable given the aircraft characteristics. Looking toward the future, the FAA is working to identify infrastructure design needs for these aircraft. FAA expects to develop a new vertiport standard in the coming years.”

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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