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Wozniak increases township representation on state air mobility committee

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation that would establish an air mobility study committee to assess Michigan’s capability and determine potential changes to enable advanced operations and infrastructure was approved by the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday, after a Sen. Doug Wozniak amendment increased township representation on the proposed committee.

According to NASA, advanced air mobility (AAM) is an emerging industry and transportation system that moves people and cargo between places previously not served or underserved by aviation, including local, regional, intraregional, and urban locales using revolutionary new aircraft, such as drones.

“We are living in exciting times, with rapidly changing technologies that enable us to do things we’ve never previously been able to accomplish,” said Wozniak, R-Shelby Township. “The potential positive impact of AAM is near limitless; it is important that the large number of Michiganders living in Michigan’s townships are given a voice in shaping their future.”

Senate Bill 795 would establish the committee, to be made up of 32 members representing state and local governments and the private sector to survey existing laws in relation to their potential impact on AAM, consider efficiencies and integrations and compile a report of recommended reforms.

Wozniak, who serves on the Senate panel, won an amendment to SB 795 that would expand the air mobility study committee’s membership to ensure township residents are represented.

“Despite AAM’s exciting possibilities, the industry is sort of the wild, wild west right now, and it is important that Michigan prepares itself for the future by better aligning its laws and regulations to accommodate private sector innovations with the interests of local governments and their citizens,” Wozniak said. “That’s why I partnered with the Michigan Township Association to make sure this legislation included townships on an equal footing with cities in representing their residents.”

The bill now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.