The board of the National Aerospace Research & Technology Park in Egg Harbor Township on Monday approved an agreement with Deloitte Consulting to develop an achievable strategy to position New Jersey as a national leader in advanced air mobility — and work to channel AAM research and development and employment opportunities to Atlantic County.
NARTP CEO Howard Kyle said the agreement could help the state become a major player in the advanced air mobility sector, which is projected to grow to more than $100 billion in the next 15 years.
The AAM industry also represents an opportunity for Atlantic County to diversify its economy.
AAM technology enables a new dimension of flexibility, accessibility and autonomy that traditional aircraft cannot perform. It uses electric vertical take-off and landing, or eVTOL, aircraft employing battery power to hover, take off and land vertically.
This technology came about because of major advances in electric propulsion and the growing demand for more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.
New AAM companies such as Joby and Jaunt Air Mobility, along with government agencies such as the FAA and NASA, are working to deliver these innovative capabilities to market and enable use cases, such as emergency services, rural-urban transit, air taxis, package delivery and remote sensing.
Kyle said the sector is a perfect fit for the park.
“The National Aerospace Research & Technology Park believes that New Jersey is uniquely capable of becoming a global leader in the area of advanced aerial mobility,” he said. “The economic development benefits related to this emerging area of aviation would be substantial and transformative for our region.”
Per the agreement, Deloitte will provide the following deliverables:
- Create a step-by-step AAM implementation plan;
- Interview key stakeholders in aviation, industry and academia;
- Identify key assets;
- Identify and outline best practices;
- Gauge potential economic impact;
- Recommend policy and legislative changes.
Deloitte officials said their emerging infrastructure technology services group has helped state, federal and commercial clients define their AAM strategies and roadmaps based on their unique opportunities, challenges and needs.
Deloitte officials said they combine innovative and world-class capabilities to assess the impacts, benefits and opportunities resulting from emerging technology ecosystems.
The goals for this project include:
- Educate New Jersey aviation and economic development stakeholders on AAM trends, statewide benefits and the market;
- Generate excitement and support in the region with government, industry and academic stakeholders to broaden recognition and support for AAM and public/private investment in AAM infrastructure and emerging technology within the region;
- Raise New Jersey’s profile within the AAM ecosystem as a serious player willing to invest in this market and support business incubation;
- Define and develop the NARTP’s AAM objectives, strategy and roadmap to attract industry to New Jersey, test and operationalize use cases, and create economic impact and jobs.
Deloitte has conducted several studies regarding AAM and is recognized as an expert in this area.
About the NARTP
The National Aerospace Research & Technology Park is catalyzing innovation with an ecosystem of partnerships and harnessing the power of collaboration, facilitating research and development, innovation and commercialization of emerging aviation technologies.
It is located on a 58-acre parcel adjoining the Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center, an internationally recognized facility dedicated to research, development and sustainment of the National Airspace System; and the Atlantic City International Airport, a designated Smart Airport Research Test Bed Facility.
NARTP tenants are performing leading research in unmanned aerial systems/advanced air mobility focusing on the safety implications of nascent UAS operational concepts, their testing and certification, as well as the emerging technologies needed to support the development of new regulatory standards.
According to one recent report, “Advanced Air Mobility: Can the U.S. Afford to Lose the Race?” U.S. aerospace and defense companies are poised to lead the nascent global industry, which is predicted to become mainstream in the 2030s. It is considered the next inflection point in the aerospace industry’s ongoing evolution and is estimated to reach $115 billion annually by 2035, employing more than 280,000 workers in high-paying jobs.
NARTP Chairman Mark Loeben said those numbers are game-changers for South Jersey.
“As our region works to diversify its economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and overcome its reliance on a single industry, the aviation sector emerges as a prime sector for investment, growth and innovation,” he said. “Aviation assets that are unique to New Jersey include the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center and the Atlantic City International Airport, a designated Smart Airport Test Bed Facility, as well as the NARTP. Collectively, these cojoined assets, as well as the surrounding one-mile area, constitutes New Jersey’s only officially recognized Aviation District.
“With the right leadership, vision and investment, New Jersey has the potential to become a major player in the AAM market. The fact that NASA has established an operation at the NARTP in support of this effort gives you an idea of the caliber of the agencies involved in bringing this technology to market.”