As a result of his proven success helping lead the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ), a first-of-its-kind “do tank,” Hillwood’s senior vice president of aviation business development, Christopher Ash, was recently appointed to the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Advisory Committee, a new subset of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
Created as a part of the Texas Senate Bill 763, which was passed earlier this year, the UAM Advisory Committee is tasked with assessing the current state law and facilitating the development of UAM operations and infrastructure in Texas.
“As a central leader within the MIZ, Chris has a deep understanding of mobility innovation, bringing TxDOT the expertise and testing capabilities it needs to facilitate UAM advancements across the region,” said Tom Harris, executive vice president at Hillwood. “Serving in an influential role within the Advisory Committee, Chris will be able to connect industry leaders operating within the MIZ directly with the public sector, ensuring that a collaborative partnership is cultivated between all stakeholders.”
Leveraging his experience with the MIZ, Chris will help TxDOT comprehensively scale and, ultimately commercialize UAM technologies and uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) operations and prepare the DFW Metroplex to become a hub for UAM by 2025. The Committee plans to present UAM recommendations to the state legislature in September 2022 and begin shaping the first laws and regulations in 2023.
With an unparalleled testing ecosystem, the MIZ offers mobility visionaries, including Bell, Wing, TuSimple, Gatik, ITS ConGlobal, Phantom Auto, Einride, and Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), the ability to accelerate the development and commercialization of new technologies. Specifically, the Flight Test Center, which Chris manages for Hillwood and Fort Worth Alliance Airport, allows public and private stakeholders to test urban UAM and UAS solutions that can be used to inform the future regulatory framework in suburban and urban settings for the UAM Advisory Committee.
About the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone
The AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ) is a unique landscape built on collaboration and opportunity. That combination works to connect people, places and ideas that push innovation in surface and air mobility forward. By leveraging its one-of-a-kind infrastructure, the MIZ offers mobility visionaries full access to an unparalleled ecosystem, resources and partnerships essential to comprehensively test, scale, and commercialize the latest technologies. AllianceTexas itself is an unparalleled 27,000-acre regional success story and has transformed the North Texas economy by connecting it to global industry. Hillwood’s AllianceTexas development is anchored by the world’s first dedicated industrial airport, Fort Worth Alliance Airport, and hosts one of the nation’s premier intermodal hubs. AllianceTexas is also home to more than 533 companies which have built more than 53 million square feet and created over 63,000 jobs. For more information, please visit alliancetexasmiz.com and alliancetexas.com.