eVTOL Defining Challenges Workshop

Workshop on eVTOL Defining Challenges for Urban Air Mobility:
System Safety, Infrastructure and Airspace Management

Navy Memorial Visitor Center
701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC  20004-2608
Sept. 10-12, 2019 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Register today! Early bird deadline: August 30, 2019.

Gannett Flemming Skyport conceptThe Vertical Flight Society is hosting its first workshop on the defining challenges of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, planned for Sept. 10-12, 2019, at the US Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. The three-day workshop will be dedicated to begin identifying and developing the foundational standards needed to support this growing eVTOL industry. Importantly, this workshop will review what key organizations are working on and look for gaps and overlaps in developments to ensure a successful realization of urban air mobility (UAM).

The Vertical Flight Society, founded in 1943 as the American Helicopter Society, is the world's leading professional organization working to advance vertical flight. VFS has been a leading advocate and supporter of what we call The Electric VTOL Revolution. We held the world's eVTOL technical meeting in 2014 and our 7th Annual eVTOL Symposium is planned for Jan. 2020 in Silicon Valley; we now have 100+ hours of informative and educational videos on electric VTOL. A summary of the work that VFS and partners have done, along with information on previous events and activities can be found on this webpage.



  • Create common understanding of risk-based frameworks and system safety practices.
  • Identify frameworks for understanding infrastructure development risks, and identify current gaps in industry best practice data for new technologies enabling UAM concepts
  • Connect risk assessment frameworks through infrastructure design to operational considerations
  • Build upon existing heliport safety data, Air Traffic Management (ATM) practices, and existing rotorcraft safety data to identify pre-competitive areas where proactive industry collaboration could be valuable in accelerating UAM adoption


  • Create list of fundamental, pre-competitive research topics or projects that could be undertaken by stakeholders to assist in closing these gaps
  • Build upon existing safety data to identify pre-competitive areas where proactive industry collaboration could be valuable in accelerating UAM adoption


  • Rex Alexander, 5-Alpha
  • John Koelling, NASA
  • Misty Davis, NASA
  • Jonathan Hartman, Sikorsky LMCO
  • Ajay Sehgal, KBR
  • Dan Newman, Boeing
  • Anubhav Datta, University of Maryland

Registration and Sponsorships

Registration is now open!

  • US Federal Govt Employees and Speakers: $150
  • VFS Members: $300
  • Non-Members: $400 (includes 1 year of VFS membership). 

Note: since this is a working meeting, members of the press cannot attend.
We expect this event to sell out. All registration rates will increase by $50 on August 30 if there are still seats left.

There will be a limited number of sponsorships available. Go to the registration page to apply for a sponsorship or to register

  • Gold Sponsorship: $2,500 (Includes logos/signage, flyer, three complimentary registrations and a speaking opportunity. Subject to approval and availability.)
  • Silver Sponsorship: $1,500 (Includes logos/signage, flyer and one complimentary registration. Subject to approval and availability.) 
Our Gold-Level Sponsors
Gannett Fleming logo (400 px) png NEXA UAM Logo
Preliminary Agenda: Download the Preliminary Agenda (PDF)
Day 1 – Tuesday, Sept. 10 – Infrastructure
0700–0800 Registration Opens
0800–0900 Welcome/Introductions Mike Hirschberg, Vertical Flight Society
0900–1000 Today's Heliports — Baseline Rex Alexander, Vertical Flight Society
1030–1200 Vertiports Design Requirements
Local Policy Consideration for Vertiports Anna Dietrich, AMD Consulting / Yolanka Wulff, CAMI
eVTOL Ground Infrastructure Standardization and Interoperability Arturo Garcia-Alonso, Airport Intelligence
Vertiport Building Code Robert Davidson, Davidson Code Concepts
1330–1500 Vertiport Performance
Urban Air Mobility — Economics and Global Market Study Michael Dyment, NEXA Advisors
Vertiport Electrical Requirements Teresa Peterson, Gannett Fleming
TBA Jamare Bates, Black & Veatch
Uber's Perspectives of Infrastructure Mark Moore, Uber Elevate
1530–1700 Operations
Operations Safety: Automating Hazard Detection, Assessment and Mitigation Nikunj Oza, NASA
Weather Operations Colleen Reiche, Booz Allen Hamilton
Micro-climate Matthias Steiner, Nat'l Ctr of Atmospheric Research
GAMA Activities Christine De Jong, GAMA
Day 2 – Wednesday, September 11 – Air Traffic / Noise / Passenger Experience
0700–0800 Registration Opens
0800–0900 Welcome/Introductions John Koelling, NASA
0830–1000 Today's Air Traffic Control
TBA Chris Baur, Hughes Aerospace
TBA Jim Ullmann (invited)
1030–1200 Defining the Airspace
NASA UAM Grand Challenge Ken Goodrich, NASA
In-Time Aviation Safety Management System - Minimum Requirements? TBA, NASA
Airspace Definition and Flight Path Spacing - UAM, UTM and ATM-x Jeff Maddalon, NASA
1330–1500 eVTOL / UAM Challenges: Open Panel Discussion
Moderator: Ajay Sehgal, KBR

Anna Dietrich, AMD Consulting
Phil Kenul, Tri-Vector
Andy Thurling, NUAIR
Adam Morrison, Streamline Design (invited)

1530–1700 Acoustics / Ride Handling
Uber's Perspectives on Acoustics Mark Moore, Uber Elevate
eVTOL Noise / Acoustics Juliet Page, Volpe
Ride Handling and Passenger Experience George Price, Crowne
VFS / NASA Transformative Vertical Flight Working Groups Outbriefs Johnny Doo, International Vehicle Research, Inc.
Day 3 – Thursday – September 12 –System Safety & Certification
0700–0800 Registration Opens
0830–0900 Welcome and Introductions Jonathan Hartman, Sikorsky LMCO
0900–1000 Today's Vehicles - an Intro to Risk Framework
Certification of Today's General Aviation and Rotorcraft John Burchett, Int'l System Safety Organization
1030–1200 Operational Risks Framework for UAM
2019 Accidents and Causes USHST, FAA (invited)
Icing, IFR and other Weather-related Vehicle Operational Risks Moderator: Ajay Sehgal, KBR
Vladislav Gavrilets, Collins Aerospace
1330–1500 Air Vehicle Risk Framework
Uber's Perspective on Vehicle Safety Mark Moore, Uber Elevate
Risks for European Certification TBA
Cyber-security Anuja Sonalker, STEER
1530–1700 Interactive Discussion
Actions and Activities of the VFS eVTOL Technical Committee Anubhav Datta, UMD/VFS eVTOL Tech Committee Chair
ASTM Activities Ajay Sehgal, ASTM
SAE Activities Mark DeAngelo, SAE International
CAMI Activities Yolanka Wulff, CAMI
NBAA Activities Mike Nichols, NBAA


The United States Navy Memorial Visitor Center is a state-of-the-art event and meeting space located in the heart of Washington, DC on Pennsylvania Avenue, half way between the White House and Capitol building and across the street from the National Archives. It is steps from the metro (Archives/Navy Memorial stop) and plenty of parking available.

VFS has not arranged for a hotel block, so attendees are free to choose their lodging.


Please contact Jim Sherman for more information.

Updated Aug 7, 2019