By Tim Ryan

The Commonwealth of Virginia has taken a pioneering step in the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) sector by appointing S. Scott Denny as its first Advanced Air Mobility Program Manager. This role, under the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV), positions Denny as a leader in charting the path forward for the new mode of air transportation.

Denny began his tenure on April 10, 2024, and has already engaged with AAM manufacturers across the U.S. to establish Virginia as a hub for this burgeoning industry. According to DOAV Director Greg Campbell, Denny was the ideal candidate, bringing over 23 years of experience as a senior aviation planner. “Scott has the right mix of experience and skills to make Virginia a leader in this burgeoning industry,” Campbell remarked.

This appointment directly benefits Hampton Roads, especially as the region aims to strengthen its innovation ecosystem through initiatives like REaKTOR, an innovation platform focused on revolutionizing the local economy, and DroneUp. The presence of an Advanced Air Mobility Program Manager aligns seamlessly with REaKTOR’s mission to transform the region into a leader in technology and entrepreneurship.

REaKTOR offers a collaborative environment where startups, established companies, and government agencies can unite to accelerate AAM innovations. Denny’s role will further solidify the relationship between public and private stakeholders, ensuring Hampton Roads emerges as a prominent player in the AAM sector. REaKTOR is home to startups like Advanced Aircraft Company and Tidal.

The AAM market is poised for remarkable growth, projected to reach $115 billion by 2035 in the United States alone. Thousands of eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft could be operational by 2030, offering new avenues for passenger transport, cargo delivery, and public services.

Denny’s expertise in zoning issues, regulatory compliance, and AAM vehicle operation is instrumental in shaping a comprehensive framework for integrating AAM technologies into Virginia’s transportation network. His commitment to developing and promoting advanced air transportation aligns perfectly with the industry’s trajectory.

Virginia’s forward-looking approach to appointing its first Advanced Air Mobility Program Manager signals an exciting future for the Commonwealth, particularly in the Hampton Roads region. Denny’s leadership will not only drive economic growth but also place Virginia at the forefront of AAM innovation.