Global AAM Academic Paper Competition

The Global Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Academic Paper Competition offers a platform for university students from around the world to showcase their groundbreaking ideas, research, and insights within the realm of AAM. This competition seeks to engage students in exploring various aspects of AAM, including, but not limited to, technology, safety, regulation, urban planning, legal considerations, and sustainability.


Competition theme: Advancing AAM solutions


Competition details:

  • Objective: The competition aims to stimulate innovative concepts for new AAM solutions and services.
  • Eligibility: Open to university students enrolled in a Master's, or a PhD program. Students enrolled in the final year of a Bachelor's degree may also participate.
  • Submission guidelines: See competition timeline below. 
  • Recognition: Winners will have the exclusive opportunity to present their work during the prestigious AAM 2024 event.
  • Distinguished jury: The discerning panel includes the following representatives:
    • Lead judge: Iryna Borschchova, Ph. D., Research Officer, National Research Council Canada (NRC)
    • Robin Garrity, Senior External Affairs Officer, Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR)
    • Adriana Andreeva-Mori, Researcher in Aeronautics (Air Traffic Management, Operations), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
    • Dr. Kelley Hashemi, Airspace Operations and Safety Program Partnerships Lead, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    • Divya Bhadoria, Manager, AMP Airspace Operations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    • Jim Murphy, AAM System Architect, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    • Michael Patterson, Ph. D., AAM Mission Integration Office Systems Analysis Lead, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)


Competition timeline:

  • Announcement of competition opening: 6 October 2023
  • Initial title/abstract (max 300 words)/bio submission deadline: 30 November 2023
  • Notification of acceptance: 30 January 2024
  • Closure of paper submissions: 15 May 2024
  • Winner notification: by 30 June 2024



  • Free access to AAM 2024, 9-12 September 2024 and presentation of the winning paper during AAM 2024.

  • Certificate of recognition signed by an ICAO high-level official. 

  • Internship opportunity at Boeing (location tbc) or one of its subsidiaries or its partners.

  • Outstanding papers will be considered for submission to a Collection in the Drone Systems and Applications journal. The winning student will receive a full waiver of the article processing charge (APC; $1000 value) to potentially publish their paper open-access in DSA. In addition, up to two runner-up papers may be offered a 50% APC discount, if deemed by the competition committee to be of sufficient quality for potential publication.


Evaluation criteria:

1. Originality (20 points)

  • Emphasizes highly original and innovative work.
  • Evaluates the novelty and uniqueness of concepts.
  • Considers the application of principles in a distinctive manner.

2. Depth of the subject matter (20 points)

  • Proposes strong research and analysis. Quality and relevance of the sources.
  • Proposes a coherent (consistency) and evidence-based paper.

3. Applicability (20 points)

  • Focuses on the relevance and potential impact of the topic.
  • Considers practical applicability.

4. Prose (20 points)

  • Evaluates the quality of writing and language use.
  • Considers readability and need for revisions.

5. Professional integrity (20 points)

  • Assesses the paper's clarity, referencing, and bias.
  • Evaluates the appropriateness of references and commercialism.



  • Number of pages: minimum 15 / maximum 25.
  • Relevance and number of sources: at least 20 references.
  • Other paper formatting requirements: please consult the guidelines at the following page: Canadian Science Publishing (
  • Language: Only papers written in English will be considered, as jury members are proficient in this language.


Potential focus areas:

  • "Optimizing AAM infrastructure: design, implementation, and integration" Explore innovative approaches to designing and implementing AAM infrastructure, considering factors such as vertiports, charging stations, and air traffic management systems.
  • "Electric propulsion and sustainable power systems for AAM" Investigate advancements in electric propulsion technologies and sustainable power systems that can enhance the efficiency and environmental friendliness of AAM aircraft.
  • "AAM traffic management: overcoming challenges in urban airspace" Analyze strategies for effective AAM traffic management in complex urban environments, addressing issues like air traffic congestion, route planning, and collision avoidance.
  • "Human-centered design for AAM aircraft: ensuring safety and user experience" Examine how human-centered design principles can be applied to AAM aircraft, focusing on safety, user interfaces, and passenger comfort.
  • "Urban planning for AAM integration: envisioning the city of the future" Discuss urban planning strategies to accommodate AAM aircraft, considering aspects like infrastructure, noise reduction, and urban landscape transformation.
  • "AAM aircraft autonomy and AI: enhancing navigation and decision-making" Explore the role of artificial intelligence and autonomy in AAM aircraft, addressing challenges related to navigation, obstacle detection, and real-time decision-making.
  • "Regulatory framework for AAM: balancing innovation and safety" Examine the regulatory challenges associated with AAM integration into existing aviation frameworks, discussing ways to ensure safety while fostering innovation.
  • "AAM cybersecurity: safeguarding data and communication in urban airspace" Investigate cybersecurity concerns specific to AAM operations, focusing on protecting communication networks, data integrity, and privacy.
  • "AAM and emergency services: enhancing disaster response and medical transport" Explore how AAM can revolutionize emergency services, discussing its potential applications in disaster response, medical transport, and search and rescue missions.
  • "Societal acceptance of AAM: addressing public perception and community engagement" Analyze strategies to promote public acceptance of AAM technology, including community engagement, education, and addressing concerns about noise and privacy.


Please be aware that the academic competition topics provided above are intended as suggestions only, and that ICAO looks forward to any proposals that contribute to the advancement of AAM solutions.


Submit your abstract to by 30 November 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the objective of the Global AAM Academic Paper Competition? 

A: The competition aims to foster innovation and stimulate new concepts and solutions within the field of AAM.

Q: Who is eligible to participate in this competition? 

A: The Global AAM Academic Paper Competition is open to university students enrolled in a Master's, or a PhD program. Students enrolled in the final year of a Bachelor's degree may also participate.

Q: Is it possible to submit work in pairs?

A: Yes, collaborative submissions are allowed for the academic paper competition. Please ensure that authors' names and contributions are outlined in the abstract as well as in the final submission. This ensures proper recognition of each contributors' work.  


Q: Can I submit my paper to both the competition and a journal? 

A: Yes, outstanding academic papers may also have the opportunity to be submitted to the Drone Systems and Applications journal or the journal of your choice.


Q: How will winners be recognized? 

A: Winners will have the unique opportunity to present their work during the AAM 2024 event and will receive recognition through ICAO's website and social media accounts. 


Q: Where can I find comprehensive guidelines and submission details?

A: Detailed guidelines and submission information can be accessed on this page (see above).


Terms and Conditions:

The following terms and conditions apply to the competition:   

  1. ICAO, its officials, and agents shall not be responsible or liable for any claims, demands, losses and liability of any kind or nature arising out of or in connection with contributors' participation in this competition, or their acceptances of its awards.  
  2. Participants represent and warrant that their submitted paper is their original work, that it has not been copied, and that it does not violate the rights of any other person.   
  3. The copyright for any submitted paper shall remain the property of the entrant, but entry in this competition constitutes the entrant's irrevocable, perpetual permission and consent to ICAO and others authorized by ICAO, without further compensation or attribution, to use, distribute, reproduce or otherwise utilize the submitted material(s) in whole or in part for the duration of the copyright.   
  4. By entering your paper in the competition, you agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless, ICAO and its officials, agents, employees, consultants, subcontractors and other representatives from and against all suits, proceedings, claims, demands, losses and liability of any kind or nature brought by any third party against ICAO, including, but not limited to, all litigation costs and expenses, attorney's fees, settlement payments and damages, based on, arising from, or relating to ICAO's use of the drawing, design or concept.   
  5. Nothing in or relating to the competition or its terms and conditions shall be deemed as a waiver, express or implied, of any of the privileges and immunities enjoyed or which may be enjoyed by ICAO, its officers and staff, either pursuant to the Headquarters Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the International Civil Aviation Organization or other applicable conventions, agreements, laws or decrees.   
  6. The obligations under these Terms and Conditions do not lapse upon closure of the competition, and ICAO reserves the right to change, amend, delete or add to these Terms and Conditions at any time.   



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