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CIVATAglobal & GSMA whitepaper calls for early collaboration to facilitate urban air mobility

July 30 2021 London A structured process of public engagement between local authorities, communities, regulators, mobile network operators and the urban air mobility (UAM) industry needs to start now so citizens can make informed decisions about the future of UAM infrastructure development in their communities, according to a whitepaper published today by CIVATAglobal, the global UAM trade association, and the GSMA, the association of mobile network operators.

The era of urban air mobility is just around the corner, transforming our cities and the lives of our communities, says the paper. Small, electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) will allow for the rapid connectivity of passengers between places with few of the delays that ground-based transport networks encounter. But the urban air mobility industry will only progress if the communities it serves and their leaders actively engage in its introduction and development, where the benefits and the disbenefits are clearly aired and appropriately addressed. It is important now to engage early with all stakeholders to understand the future connectivity needs of Smart Cities, so data consumption hotspots (such as airports and potentially the new vertiports) can be properly planned.

By 2050, around 100 cities worldwide will have implemented autonomous air vehicle passenger transport services, with on average 1,000 passenger drones in operation in each city, according to industry forecasts. Many city planners and technologists are convinced this new industrial revolution will transform the connectivity benefits, environmental footprint and the enjoyment of towns and city living.

This new industry and a growing number of ground transport networks will rely on enhanced levels of connectivity, automation and artificial intelligence to improve transport options for cities and integrate current networks into future “Smart City” transport planning.

Policy makers, regulators and local authorities are also playing a crucial role in unlocking the potential of 5G and the networks of the future. It is very important to find the right balance between incentivising competition and keeping prices accessible for consumers and supporting industry investment in next generation infrastructure. If communities and consumers are to reap the benefits of new sustainable, affordable and inclusive transport options, regulators and city planners will also need to take action soon in several key areas:

· Making additional affordable spectrum available,

· Facilitating access to site locations,

· Enabling small cell deployment,

· Facilitating deployment of backhaul,

· Permitting the freedom to establish network sharing agreements,

· Harmonizing power density limits.

· Providing financial support for developments

· Providing regulatory flexibility for B2B partnerships

CIVATAglobal and the GSMA urge local authorities to take early action in determining their future requirements for building communications networks to support UAM development and both associations undertake to provide the most appropriate data and necessary advice in this regard.

Download your FREE copy of the white paper below.

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators and nearly 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Los Angeles and Shanghai, as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences.

The GSMA is actively working with the telecoms and aviation industries to maximise the use of beyond-visual-line-of-sight capabilities for UAS, develop new use cases and help create an open and trusted regulatory environment. There are two drone-related initiatives, making progress in this area – the Drone Interest Group (DIG) and Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity (ACJA).

For more information, please visit

Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA

About CIVATAglobal

The Civic Air Transport Association is the global trade association of the advanced air mobility (AAM) sector, bringing together cities and industries in a single global community. CIVATA is a forum to share experiences, plans, access information resources and work together on enabling the successful introduction of safe, profitable, environmentally responsible urban air mobility (UAM) operations, from small unmanned air system (SUAS) missions to urban air taxi networks and inter-city services.

For more information please contact: Philip Butterworth-Hayes, Director of Communications and Strategy at CIVATAglobal – [email protected]

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