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Rep. Lomax, Sen. Bell: Advanced air mobility is Alabama’s next frontier

Alabama’s approach to economic development receives high praise from corporate leaders around the globe, and rightfully so. The reasons for our success are straightforward: a top-down vision and an unwavering commitment to partnerships. Governor Kay Ivey’s administration has repeatedly displayed a willingness to “look around the corner,” which has paid dividends in our industrial recruitment and overall growth as a state.

The Alabama Legislature also plays an important role in this effort – as evidenced by its swift passage of the “Game Plan” bills related to economic development incentives last year and the “Working for Alabama” bills this year.

States will continue to compete for major projects, and our team – led by the Alabama Department of Commerce – is eager to build on our winning track record. One industry that is capturing the attention of economic development officials is advanced air mobility, better known as AAM. AAM is an air transportation system that utilizes vertical and traditional takeoff methods to move people and cargo.

In fact, a combination of legacy manufacturers – including those with operations in Alabama – and startup companies are investing billions of dollars in these emerging technologies. 

The goal of the AAM industry is to better service all aviation markets – regional, urban and rural – including those that are unserved or underserved. We recently served on a Joint Legislative Study Commission on Advanced Air Mobility and heard from recognized experts on AAM and aviation planning.

Those meetings led to the introduction of House Bill 176, which tasks the Department of Transportation with developing a strategic plan for AAM. This new program will involve significant coordination with stakeholders across Alabama in order to be successful. 

We are thankful to the Alabama Legislature for unanimously supporting House Bill 176 and to Governor Ivey for signing this measure into law. There is no doubt that Alabama can be a national leader in advanced air mobility over the next decade. Let’s plan for the future together.

Senator Lance Bell (R-Pell City) represents District 11 – St. Clair, Shelby & Tallapoosa Counties –  in the Alabama Senate. Representative James Lomax (R-Huntsville) represents District 20 –  Madison County – in the Alabama House.

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