As Executive Editor of eVTOL Insights, Jason has a unique perspective on the state of the advanced air mobility space, and helps to connect industry players by gathering and sharing news and views from across this dynamic and rapidly evolving landscape.
For the eVTOL Insights podcast, Jason interviews people working in a range of aspects of advanced air mobility, including everyone from founders and CEOs to engineers and software developers, marketers and certification experts, lawyers and battery designers, and beyond. Given his broad knowledge of this detailed and complex industry network, I thought we might turn the tables and interview Jason – and he kindly agreed.
1.AS: Your background is in journalism and public relations. How did you come to be interested in and working in advanced air mobility?
JP: I’ve been interested in aviation since I was very young and have always been fascinated with watching the aeroplanes at airports when going on holiday. I’d love watching them in the skies and trying to understand how they worked.
As I embarked on my career in the media, I’d been following the growing Advanced Air Mobility hype for a few years, and it escalated when the first white paper was published by Uber Elevate in 2016. I felt this was a landmark moment for enabling this new type of aviation, so I kept an eye on the industry and was following developments for a few years.
It wasn’t until the start of 2020 when I began working with Simon [Corbett, now CEO of eVTOL Insights] and he gave me the opportunity to help launch the media brand, which has now grown to become one of the leading news sources for this market.
It was as simple as being in the right place at the right time. It’s been an incredible journey so far, and I feel privileged to be playing a key role in its development.
2.AS: One of the recurring themes in your reporting is the announcement of collaborations between eVTOL aircraft developers and manufacturers and a huge range of other service providers, as clusters of expertise gather around different vehicle models. How critical is collaboration on this scale for the industry?
JP: Collaboration is absolutely critical. An industry expert once said to me that this industry is all about collaboration and not competition. We are all striving to make Advanced Air Mobility the success we want it to be; there are so many brilliant individuals working towards the same goal, so what better way than to learn from each other and help define the standards that will be in place for years to come?
This industry needs to ensure it leaves no stone unturned when it comes to addressing each part of the ecosystem – from landing and charging infrastructure, batteries, certification and regulations, public acceptance to air traffic management. It would be impossible for one company to be able to do all of these things, as well as launching a eVTOL aircraft service.
I also think it’s important that we as an industry bring external parties to the table when talking about how to implement these services alongside current transportation. I’m sure they will be able to offer a different perspective when it comes to community engagement, as well as any other challenges that might have been overlooked. If everyone works together, then we can all succeed.
3.AS: You speak to people working in so many different aspects of this industry, and a lot has changed since you started in April 2020. What would you say are the one or two most clearly defined trends or hotspots of activity you are noticing at the moment?
JP: One of the clearly defined hotspots of activity I’m seeing at the moment is infrastructure, both from a landing and charging perspective. A few industry experts believe commercial flights will possibly begin during Q4 2025 to Q1 2026, but without clearly defined spaces for the aircraft to land, it’s not going to work. Then there’s the question of how much power you would need to charge a eVTOL aircraft and whether it would impact a city’s power grid. Now is the time when we need to start showing, rather than telling, the rest of the world that this is going to happen.
We’ve got some amazing companies in the market which are really working hard with partners to build the vertiports needed, so I’m confident they are in a good position to deliver.
The second hotspot of activity for me is community engagement. I was lucky enough to attend this year’s Farnborough Airshow and it was amazing to see how much attention the booths of Eve Air Mobility, Supernal, Lilium, Wisk and Vertical Aerospace were getting.
As mentioned in my answer above, now is the time to bring in external parties so we can help them understand how this new form of aviation will work in our cities. It’s not going to replace current transportation methods, but complement them and save commuters time on their journeys. We are starting to see companies taking a leading role in educating the world about Advanced Air Mobility, from the Community Air Mobility Initiative (CAMI) and Urban Movement Labs in the USA, to Flight Crowd in the UK.
It’s great to see leading figures from cities such as Los Angeles and Miami take an active role in promoting the industry to residents, but we must make sure we’re doing everything we can to make sure key decision makers understand the benefits and don’t brush it under the carpet. The signing of the Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act by US President Joe Biden is an excellent signal of intent, so hopefully this will help the industry gain even more awareness and momentum.
4.AS: Various organisations are now working to educate people about advanced air mobility and improve general awareness and perception of the industry and its goals. What do you think about your role in this process, as both a reporter and aggregator of news and information? Do you have specific goals or motivations in this respect?
JP: At eVTOL Insights, I’m in a great position because we have a responsibility to share all the amazing stories with our audience. While we’re not the ones building the aircraft, we play a vital role in informing those who are either just enthusiasts, or those who have been in the industry for decades and are aware of Advanced Air Mobility.
In recent weeks, there have been so many amazing bits of news. Now that we’re able to attend in-person events, it was great to hear from companies the reaction people gave when they see an aircraft in person. One example in particular was Urban-Air Port’s successful Air One event in Coventry earlier this year. Up to 15,000 people turned up to see for themselves what Air One would look like in a working environment.
This is something that no-one would have seen before, and the fact it was put on display in a city centre car park shows how accessible it can be to everyone.
Our goal at eVTOL Insights has always been to help educate and inform people on this wonderful market, through our website, podcast series and more recently, our in-person conferences. I like to think we’ve managed to shed a little light on the work that is going on behind the scenes and celebrate their achievements.
Like many who I speak to on a daily basis, I want to one day travel on an eVTOL aircraft, so anything we can do to help make this market a success is enough motivation for me.
5.AS: Is there anyone in particular you would really love to interview who hasn’t yet appeared on the podcast…?
JP: I’d love to speak to a government official or even a senior figure associated with an airline which has invested in this space. So the likes of Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines, Delta Airlines would be amazing. To hear what they have to say on the market and share their insights with our audience would be really valuable.
But if any companies have a compelling story to tell and are in the Advanced Air Mobility market, then I’d love to hear from you!
Thank you very much Jason!