Open Access Journal Article

Advanced Air Mobility, Economic Impacts, and Equity Considerations

by Robert M. McNab a,* orcid
Department of Economics, Strome College of Business, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
JEA  2024, 61; 3(2), 61;
Received: 27 July 2023 / Accepted: 31 August 2023 / Published Online: 15 June 2024


Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) may, in the coming decades, result in tens of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in additional economic activity. While much of the discussion surrounding AAM focuses on the technical aspects of the nascent industry, estimates of the potential economic impact vary significantly. Much less attention has been paid in the literature to potential externalities, positive and negative, and how these externalities may impact estimates of economic impact. We argue that much work remains to be done before policy advisors and decisions makers can formulate and implement strategies based on the projections of future economic impact of AAM.

Copyright: © 2024 by McNab. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Share and Cite

ACS Style
McNab, R. M. Advanced Air Mobility, Economic Impacts, and Equity Considerations. Journal of Economic Analysis, 2024, 3, 61.
AMA Style
McNab R M. Advanced Air Mobility, Economic Impacts, and Equity Considerations. Journal of Economic Analysis; 2024, 3(2):61.
Chicago/Turabian Style
McNab, Robert M. 2024. "Advanced Air Mobility, Economic Impacts, and Equity Considerations" Journal of Economic Analysis 3, no.2:61.
APA style
McNab, R. M. (2024). Advanced Air Mobility, Economic Impacts, and Equity Considerations. Journal of Economic Analysis, 3(2), 61.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics


  1. Al Haddad, C., Chaniotakis, E., Straubinger, A., Plötner, K., & Antoniou, C. (2020). Factors affecting the adoption and use of urban air mobility. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 132, 696–712.
  2. Archibugi, D., & Filippetti, A. (2015). Knowledge as global public good. In The Handbook of Global Science, Technology, and Innovation (pp. 477–503). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  3. Arrow, K. J. (1962). The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing. The Review of Economic Studies, 29(3), 155–173.
  4. Badami, M. G. (2005). Transport and Urban Air Pollution in India. Environmental Management, 36(2), 195–204.
  5. Balać, M., Vetrella, A. R., Rothfeld, R., & Schmid, B. (2019). Demand estimation for aerial vehicles in urban settings. IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine, 11(3), 105–116.
  6. Bardhan, P. (2002). Decentralization of Governance and Development. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16(4), 185–205.
  7. Bardhan, P. (2006). The economist’s approach to the problem of corruption. World Development, 34(2), 341–348.
  8. Bauranov, A., & Rakas, J. (2021). Designing airspace for urban air mobility: A review of concepts and approaches. Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 125, 100726.
  9. Bielawski, R., Rządkowski, W., & Perz, R. (2018). Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the protection of the elements of a country’s critical infrastructure – selected directions of development. Security and Defence Quarterly, 22(5), 3–19.
  10. Brown, J. R., Morris, E. A., & Taylor, B. D. (2009). Planning for Cars in Cities: Planners, Engineers, and Freeways in the 20th Century. Journal of the American Planning Association, 75(2), 161–177.
  11. Camporeale, R., Caggiani, L., Fonzone, A., & Ottomanelli, M. (2017). Quantifying the impacts of horizontal and vertical equity in transit route planning. Transportation Planning and Technology, 40(1), 28–44.
  12. Cohen, A., Guan, J., Beamer, M., Dittoe, R., & Mokhtarimousavi, S. (2020). Reimagining the Future of Transportation with Personal Flight.
  13. Crompton, J. L. (2006). Economic Impact Studies: Instruments for Political Shenanigans? Journal of Travel Research, 45(1), 67–82.
  14. Del Rosario, R., Davis, T., Dyment, M., Cohen, K., Crown Consulting, Inc., Nexa Capital Partners LLC, & University of Cincinnati. (2021). Infrastructure To Support Advanced Autonomous Aircraft Technologies in Ohio: Economic Impact Report for Advanced Autonomous Aircraft Technologies in Ohio (FHWA/OH-2021-18).
  15. Deloitte Consulting. (2022). National Aerospace Research and Technology Park: New Jersey AAM Strategic Roadmap. National Aerospace Research and Technology Park.
  16. Demetillo, M. A. G., Navarro, A., Knowles, K. K., Fields, K. P., Geddes, J. A., Nowlan, C. R., Janz, S. J., Judd, L. M., Al-Saadi, J., Sun, K., McDonald, B. C., Diskin, G. S., & Pusede, S. E. (2020). Observing Nitrogen Dioxide Air Pollution Inequality Using High-Spatial-Resolution Remote Sensing Measurements in Houston, Texas. Environmental Science & Technology, 54(16), 9882–9895.
  17. Elmenhorst, E.-M., Griefahn, B., Rolny, V., & Basner, M. (2019). Comparing the Effects of Road, Railway, and Aircraft Noise on Sleep: Exposure–Response Relationships from Pooled Data of Three Laboratory Studies. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(6), Article 6.
  18. Feng, K., Davis, S. J., Sun, L., & Hubacek, K. (2015). Drivers of the US CO2 emissions 1997–2013. Nature Communications, 6(1), Article 1.
  19. Fu, M., Rothfeld, R., & Antoniou, C. (2019). Exploring Preferences for Transportation Modes in an Urban Air Mobility Environment: Munich Case Study. Transportation Research Record, 2673(10), 427–442.
  20. Garrow, L. A., German, B., Schwab, N. T., Patterson, M. D., Mendonca, N., Gawdiak, Y. O., & Murphy, J. R. (2022). A Proposed Taxonomy for Advanced Air Mobility. In AIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
  21. Gatling, P. (2022, February 23). Arkansas wants to be global leader in next-generation transportation by 2030—Talk Business & Politics. Talkbusiness.Net.
  22. Geister, D., & Korn, B. (2018, September). Density based Management Concept for Urban Air Traffic. 37th AIAA/IEEE Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC) 2018, London.
  23. Gilderbloom, J. H., Meares, W. L., & Squires, G. D. (2020). Pollution, place, and premature death: Evidence from a mid-sized city. Local Environment, 25(6), 419–432.
  24. Goyal, R., Reiche, C., Fernando, C., & Cohen, A. (2022). Advanced Air Mobility: Demand Analysis and Market Potential of the Airport Shuttle and Air Taxi Markets. Sustainability, 13(13), Article 13.
  25. Goyal, R., Reiche, C., Fernando, C., Serrao, J., Kimmel, S., Cohen, A., & Shaheen, S. (2018). Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Market Study (HQ-E-DAA-TN65181).
  26. Grineski, S., Bolin, B., & Boone, C. (2007). Criteria Air Pollution and Marginalized Populations: Environmental Inequity in Metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona*. Social Science Quarterly, 88(2), 535–554.
  27. Hall, B. H., & Lerner, J. (2010). Chapter 14—The Financing of R&D and Innovation. In B. H. Hall & N. Rosenberg (Eds.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation (Vol. 1, pp. 609–639). North-Holland.
  28. Ham, Y., Han, K. K., Lin, J. J., & Golparvar-Fard, M. (2016). Visual monitoring of civil infrastructure systems via camera-equipped Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): A review of related works. Visualization in Engineering, 4(1), 1.
  29. Henrickson, J. V., Rogers, C., Lu, H.-H., Valasek, J., & Shi, Y. (2016). Infrastructure assessment with small unmanned aircraft systems. 2016 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), 933–942.
  30. Hill, B. P., DeCarme, D., Metcalfe, M., Griffin, C., Wiggins, S., Metts, C., Bastedo, B., Patterson, M. D., & Mendonca, N. L. (2020). UAM Vision Concept of Operations (ConOps) UAM Maturity Level (UML) 4.
  31. Hörcher, D., & Tirachini, A. (2021). A review of public transport economics. Economics of Transportation, 25, 100196.
  32. Houston, D., Wu, J., Ong, P., & Winer, A. (2004). Structural Disparities of Urban Traffic in Southern California: Implications for Vehicle-Related Air Pollution Exposure in Minority and High-Poverty Neighborhoods. Journal of Urban Affairs, 26(5), 565–592.
  33. Karma, S., Zorba, E., Pallis, G. C., Statheropoulos, G., Balta, I., Mikedi, K., Vamvakari, J., Pappa, A., Chalaris, M., Xanthopoulos, G., & Statheropoulos, M. (2015). Use of unmanned vehicles in search and rescue operations in forest fires: Advantages and limitations observed in a field trial. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 13, 307–312.
  34. Karner, A. (2016). Planning for transportation equity in small regions: Towards meaningful performance assessment. Transport Policy, 52, 46–54.
  35. Karner, A., London, J., Rowangould, D., & Manaugh, K. (2020). From Transportation Equity to Transportation Justice: Within, Through, and Beyond the State. Journal of Planning Literature, 35(4), 440–459.
  36. Larsson, J., Elofsson, A., Sterner, T., & Åkerman, J. (2019). International and national climate policies for aviation: A review. Climate Policy, 19(6), 787–799.
  37. Lenihan, H. (1999). An Evaluation of a Regional Development Agency’s Grants in Terms of Deadweight and Displacement. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 17(3), 303–318.
  38. Lewis, E. O., MacKenzie, D., & Kaminsky, J. (2021). Exploring equity: How equity norms have been applied implicitly and explicitly in transportation research and practice. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 9, 100332.
  39. Lin, Y., & Saripalli, S. (2017). Sampling-Based Path Planning for UAV Collision Avoidance. IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 18(11), 3179–3192.
  40. Lindsey, R., Tikoudis, I., & Hassett, K. (2023). Distributional effects of urban transport policies to discourage car use: A literature review. OECD.
  41. Litman, T. (1996). Using Road Pricing Revenue: Economic Efficiency and Equity Considerations. Transportation Research Record, 1558(1), 24–28.
  42. McDaniel, P. R., & Repetti, J. R. (1992). Horizontal and Vertical Equity: The Musgrave/Kaplow Exchange Commentary. Florida Tax Review, 1(10), 607–622.
  43. Mendonca, N., Murphy, J., Patterson, M. D., Alexander, R., Juarex, G., & Harper, C. (2022). Advanced Air Mobility Vertiport Considerations: A List and Overview. In AIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
  44. Millimet, D. L. (2013). Environmental Federalism: A Survey of the Empirical Literature Symposium: Property and Environment Research Center (PERC)/Law and Economics Center (LEC) Workshop on Environmental Federalism. Case Western Reserve Law Review, 64(4), 1669–1758.
  45. Monk, K., Rorie, R. C., Keeler, J., & Sadler, G. (2020). An Examination of Two Non-Cooperative Detect and Avoid Well Clear Definitions. AIAA Aviation 2020 Forum.
  46. Morgan Stanley Research. (2019). Flying Cars: Investment Implications of Autonomous Urban Air Mobility.
  47. Morgan Stanley Research. (2021). eVTOL/Urban Air Mobility TAM Update: A Slow Take-Off, But Sky’s the Limit.
  48. Mouratidis, K., Peters, S., & van Wee, B. (2021). Transportation technologies, sharing economy, and teleactivities: Implications for built environment and travel. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 92, 102716.
  49. Musgrave, R. A. (1990). Horizontal equity, once more. National Tax Journal, 43(2), 113–122.
  50. Oates, W. E. (2004). An Essay on Fiscal Federalism. In Environmental Policy and Fiscal Federalism (pp. 384–414). Edward Elgar Publishing.
  51. Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science & Technology. (2022). Governors Stitt, Hutchinson Partner to Create Super Region for Advanced Mobility in the Heartland.
  52. Orlic, E., Radicic, D., & Balavac, M. (2019). R&D and innovation policy in the Western Balkans: Are there additionality effects? Science and Public Policy, 46(6), 876–894.
  53. Peeta, S., Paz, A., & DeLaurentis, D. (2008). Stated preference analysis of a new very light jet based on-demand air service. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 42(4), 629–645.
  54. Pepper, C. B., Nascarella, M. A., & Kendall, R. J. (2003). A Review of the Effects of Aircraft Noise on Wildlife and Humans, Current Control Mechanisms, and the Need for Further Study. Environmental Management, 32(4), 418–432.
  55. Ploetner, K. O., Al Haddad, C., Antoniou, C., Frank, F., Fu, M., Kabel, S., Llorca, C., Moeckel, R., Moreno, A. T., Pukhova, A., Rothfeld, R., Shamiyeh, M., Straubinger, A., Wagner, H., & Zhang, Q. (2020). Long-term application potential of urban air mobility complementing public transport: An upper Bavaria example. CEAS Aeronautical Journal, 11(4), 991–1007.
  56. Podagrosi, A., & Vojnovic, I. (2008). Tearing Down Freedmen’s Town and African American Displacement in Houston: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Urban Revival. Urban Geography, 29(4), 371–401.
  57. Potoski, M. (2001). Clean Air Federalism: Do States Race to the Bottom? Public Administration Review, 61(3), 335–343.
  58. Prowse, M., & Snilstveit, B. (2010). Impact evaluation and interventions to address climate change: A scoping study. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 2(2), 228–262.
  59. Pukhova, A., Llorca, C., Moreno, A., Staves, C., Zhang, Q., & Moeckel, R. (2021). Flying taxis revived: Can Urban air mobility reduce road congestion? Journal of Urban Mobility, 1, 100002.
  60. Rimjha, M., Hotle, S., Trani, A., & Hinze, N. (2021). Commuter demand estimation and feasibility assessment for Urban Air Mobility in Northern California. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 148, 506–524.
  61. Roll, J., McNeil, N., & Oregon Department of Transportation. Research Section. (2021). Understanding Pedestrian Injuries and Social Equity (FHWA-OR-RD-22-05, Project SPR 841).
  62. Scheible, J., Funk, M., Pucihar, K. C., Kljun, M., Lochrie, M., Egglestone, P., & Skrlj, P. (2017). Using Drones for Art and Exergaming. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 16(1), 48–56.
  63. Schmidt, F. P., Herzog, J., Schnorbus, B., Ostad, M. A., Lasetzki, L., Hahad, O., Schäfers, G., Gori, T., Sørensen, M., Daiber, A., & Münzel, T. (2021). The impact of aircraft noise on vascular and cardiac function in relation to noise event number: A randomized trial. Cardiovascular Research, 117(5), 1382–1390.
  64. Senior, G., & Danson, M. (1998). Liam and Noel in Balloch: An Economic Impact Assessment. Tourism Economics, 4(3), 265–277.
  65. Shaheen, S., Cohen, A., & Farrar, E. (2018). The Potential Societal Barriers of Urban Air Mobility (UAM).
  66. Shirmohammadli, A., Louen, C., & Vallée, D. (2016). Exploring mobility equity in a society undergoing changes in travel behavior: A case study of Aachen, Germany. Transport Policy, 46, 32–39.
  67. Stöcker, C., Bennett, R., Koeva, M., Nex, F., & Zevenbergen, J. (2022). Scaling up UAVs for land administration: Towards the plateau of productivity. Land Use Policy, 114, 105930.
  68. Sun, X., Wandelt, S., Husemann, M., & Stumpf, E. (2021). Operational Considerations regarding On-Demand Air Mobility: A Literature Review and Research Challenges. Journal of Advanced Transportation, 2021, e3591034.
  69. Taylor, B. D., Morris, E. A., & Brown, J. R. (2023). The Drive for Dollars: How Fiscal Politics Shaped Urban Freeways and Transformed American Cities. Oxford University Press.
  70. Tuchen, S., LaFrance-Linden, D., Hanley, B., Lu, J., McGovern, S., & Litvack-Winkler, M. (2022). Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and Total Mobility Innovation Framework and Analysis Case Study: Boston Area Digital Twin and Economic Analysis. 2022 IEEE/AIAA 41st Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), 1–14.
  71. Ubina, N. A., & Cheng, S.-C. (2022). A Review of Unmanned System Technologies with Its Application to Aquaculture Farm Monitoring and Management. Drones, 6(1), Article 1.
  72. van Wee, B., & Mouter, N. (2021). Chapter Five—Evaluating transport equity. In N. Mouter (Ed.), Advances in Transport Policy and Planning (Vol. 7, pp. 103–126). Academic Press.
  73. Vascik, P. D., & Hansman, R. J. (2018, June 25). Scaling Constraints for Urban Air Mobility Operations: Air Traffic Control, Ground Infrastructure, and Noise. 2018 Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference. 2018 Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.
  74. Vascik, Parker D. & Hansman, R. John. (2017). Constraint Identification in On-Demand Mobility for Aviation through an Exploratory Case Study of Los Angeles | AIAA AVIATION Forum. 17th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference.
  75. Verlinghieri, E., & Schwanen, T. (2020). Transport and mobility justice: Evolving discussions. Journal of Transport Geography, 87, 102798.
  76. Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation. (2023). Virginia’s Advanced Air Mobility Future: AAM’s Economic Benefit for the Commonwealth.
  77. Yu, X., & Zhang, Y. (2015). Sense and avoid technologies with applications to unmanned aircraft systems: Review and prospects. Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 74, 152–166.
  78. Yuan, F., Wei, Y. D., & Xiao, W. (2019). Land marketization, fiscal decentralization, and the dynamics of urban land prices in transitional China. Land Use Policy, 89, 104208.
  79. Zhao, P., Post, J., Wu, Z., Du, W., & Zhang, Y. (2022). Environmental impact analysis of on-demand urban air mobility: A case study of the Tampa Bay Area. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 110, 103438.