Alton Aviation Consultancy says 2023 will be a pivotal year for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), as the industry edges towards entry-into-service (EIS) and the start of commercialisation.

Joshua Ng, director at global advisory firm Alton’s Singapore office, said: “With several leading eVTOL developers committed to EIS in 2025, this is the year in which the rubber must start meeting the road for the industry.

“Across a range of mission-critical factors, including funding, production ramp-up, and regulation, crucial milestones must be passed this year to keep the vision on track and determine the industry’s ultimate winners.”

According to Alton’s analysis, major AAM Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have to date raised more than $8b from investors and received 12,000 orders from customers around the globe.

Funding streams

Ng said: “Despite fundraising successes to date, OEMs will need to raise further capital prior to and through EIS. Pre-delivery payments from customers will play an important role in the funding mix.

“In August 2022, United Airlines committed $10m in predelivery payments for 100 Archer eVTOL aircraft. This year, eyes will be on which OEMs can replicate that success with other customers.

“This additional capital will be needed because OEMs are expecting to hit major vehicle certification milestones over the next 24 months. To scale manufacturing, they will need to enhance existing sites and develop advanced facilities to manufacture production-compliant aircraft, both to meet EIS targets and ramp-up production beyond first deliveries.”

Federal Aviation Administration

Alton notes that OEMs’ EIS milestones also depend on regulators such as the US’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) continuing to fast-track their own efforts.

“Whilst regulators are defining blueprints for airspace integration, the full concept of operations between ground, air, and vehicle needs to be developed and rigorously tested before EIS,” said Ng.
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