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AIAA 2020-2864
Session: Urban and Rural UAS Integration: Operational Perspectives
Published Online:

Initial assumptions for the airspace integration of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) operations indicate that separation from traditional operations may be achieved through strategic segregation. Early adoption of urban air mobility (UAM) using vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft could be shuttle-like service between downtown and airports, given that timely arrival to airports are more critical than many other purposes of roadway trips. Such UAM operations require that vertiports are located on or near airports. VTOLs routes arriving at and departing from vertiports will need to carefully designed to support the sharing of terminal airspace without causing any safety concerns. Using a combination of geographical information system tools and trajectory planning algorithms, this research seeks to evaluate the feasibility of Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) trajectories in the airport area and examine potential vertiport locations within or near the terminal environment. Present operations at one major airport were modeled to create a baseline of current manned operations. A Rapidly Exploring Random Tree (RRT) algorithm was employed to design minimum cost VTOL trajectories that stay a specified distance from current manned operations, terrain features, and obstacles. The research examined the challenges and constraints associated with VTOL routes arriving and departing from several likely vertiport locations and suggested future methods to stay clear of current manned aircraft trajectories