PLANA, a hybrid Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) aircraft developer, announced it is waiting for final approvals to lease space in the National Advanced Air Mobility Center of Excellence (NAAMCE) in Springfield, Ohio, as part of PLANA’s efforts to accelerate its technology research and development, as well as its plans for global expansion.
The NAAMCE, adjacent to the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport terminal, is a 30,000-square-foot office building that will house administrative, laboratory, meeting, and collaboration space, with 25,000 square feet of aircraft hangar space, for the Air Force and private industry. The center supports the expanding work of manufacturers and operators of electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (eVTOL) and other vehicles used for Advanced Air Mobility.
The U.S. Department of Defense Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation approved a $6 million Defense Community Infrastructure Program grant to support the project in 2021. JobsOhio supported the project through a $2.9 million Ohio Site Inventory Program (OSIP) grant to support site preparation, utility extensions, an access drive, and a parking area for the facilities. The City of Springfield is funding the balance of the project.
The NAAMCE will provide participants with a collaborative environment in which companies can find support for aerospace research, design, validation, test and flight, training, and business advice related to aircraft development. The NAAMCE also supports various demonstration projects showcasing technologies that will advance AAM integration, beyond the aircraft itself.
PLANA would join other eVTOL Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) who have had a presence at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport like Joby Aviation and BETA Technologies who both have simulators on the airport grounds. By joining the NAAMCE, PLANA aims to accelerate research on the hybrid-electric AAM aircraft that it is currently developing, establish new technologies, and collaborate with U.S. companies and organizations.
The program also would establish a collaboration with the State of Ohio’s capabilities offered through the NAAMCE. Regional use cases are being developed to support logistics and emergency medical services while the state pushes to establish flight corridors connecting Ohio’s largest cities Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. PLANA states that it acknowledges strategic synergies as they look to expand upon and utilize these resources to advance their technology.
“Participating in NAAMCE is of great significance in building a collaborative ecosystem with various AAM projects currently being developed in the U.S.,” Minyoung Ahn, co-founder and chief strategy officer of PLANA, said. “It is a great opportunity to showcase South Korea’s AAM technology to the world and jointly develop new technologies for the future.”