May 30, 2024, Salt Lake City, UT

Project Alta seeks to transform how Utahns travel and packages are delivered by 2034

By Isabelle Wolchek,

47G, in partnership with the Governor’s Office, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), the Utah Inland Port Authority and industry stakeholders launched a major new initiative today—“Project Alta.

The Air Logistics Transportation Alliance (ALTA) is a collaborative partnership with a mission to establish an advanced air mobility (AAM) system for Utah. AAM is a new form of transportation that uses electric aircraft to safely and seamlessly move people and packages to destinations throughout Utah.

“Project Alta represents a collaborative, public-private partnership of industry and government stakeholders that seek to put Utah on the map globally as an innovative, future-focused state,” said Aaron Starks, 47G president and CEO. “By leveraging our entrepreneurial spirit and cutting-edge technologies, we will attract investment, accelerate the development of critical infrastructure and enable the deployment of aircraft that make our transportation system truly multimodal."

The benefits of AAM have been recognized around the world because the technology is safe, sustainable and seamlessly integrates into the existing community fabric. Battery-powered aircraft will be able to take off and land vertically, smoothly transitioning through urban, suburban and rural environments. Industry analysts predict that the AAM market will reach a value of $1.5 trillion by 2040. Dozens of Utah-based companies play an active and integral role in the global AAM market, including:

With so many Utah companies in the AAM industry, the state is well positioned to become an innovative leader in air mobility, creating a system that works best for all Utahns. To this end, 47G announced the strategic hiring of a former senior ranking Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) official to lead Project Alta. Chris Metts has held numerous positions during his 31 years at the FAA, including time overseeing AAM activities nationally. Metts has authored AAM research studies for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and brings a wealth of experience to Utah.

“I am honored to be selected to lead 47G’s Project Alta. Safety and security are our top priorities. We will take a ‘crawl-walk-run’ approach to air mobility that ensures we adhere to all federal standards and regulatory requirements established by the FAA and the Utah Legislature,” said Chris Metts, project alta executive director and former FAA assistant deputy administrator. “Through this phased approach, we will work closely with Utahns to create an air transportation system that works best for each local community and the state.”

Project Alta will oversee four main phases of AAM integration in Utah by 2034 that includes expanding existing drone package delivery, instituting reliable cargo transport and moving people. “In partnership with 47G, we plan to create a well-functioning transportation system in the air that connects seamlessly with the transportation system on the ground,” said Paul Damron, UDOT advanced air mobility manager. “Imagine a world where you can hop on an air taxi and travel anywhere along the Wasatch Front in 20 minutes.”

Click here for TechBuzz coverage of the October 2023 launch of 47G. 

Isabelle Wolchek is a 2023-24 SheTech-TechBuzz media intern. She attends DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts in Ogden, Utah. She's a SheTech Student Board member and interested in STEM.

Isabelle is pictured here at the ALTA announcement event with Michael Huerta, President, MPH Consulting and a former FAA administrator.




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