Transportation, research, and government-based partners in Canada have created a Vancouver-based consortium to accelerate the implementation of electric and hydrogen powered vertical takeoff flight in Canada.
The future of flight in Canada has taken a major step forward with the launch of the Vancouver-based Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium (CAAM), a multi-stakeholder group that will streamline research, development and commercial operations in the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) sector, globally recognized as the next frontier of commercial aviation. AAM involves the use of zero-emission, electric or hydrogen fuel cells, and vertical takeoff aircraft to provide transportation, emergency, and supply chain services for urban and rural communities. CAAM cites the many benefits of these aircraft as increased maneuverability, less need for ground infrastructure (airport runways), less aircraft noise, reduced fossil fuel consumption, lower costs, shorter travel times and improved safety.
Initiated and created by Canadian Air Mobility and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), there are currently more than twenty partners involved in the national effort. CAAM’s key members include TransLink, Helijet International, British Columbia Institute of Technology, the University of British Columbia, Bell Textron, Iskwew Air, and many of Canada’s leading aerospace stakeholders.
“We’ve established an outstanding group of strategic members to support the design, integration, and implementation of Advanced Air Mobility in Canada,” said JR Hammond, Founder & CEO, Canadian Air Mobility and Executive Director, CAAM. “We look forward to demonstrating the economic viability, environmental benefits and social inclusivity factors of this technology and making Canada a world leader in AAM. To that end, we welcome additional members who share our vision that AAM provides the path toward a safer, healthier, and more efficient mode of transportation.”
In addition to providing transportation within urban and rural areas, AAM aircraft will play a critical life-saving role in emergency response situations by enabling faster air transportation of medical supplies, blood, donor organs, or patients to and from hospitals. It will also improve the emergency response and assessment of natural disasters such as floods and wildfires.
According to the CAAM, factors making the Greater Vancouver Area a promising AAM market include: a strong aviation infrastructure base; an existing scheduled helicopter service, with heliports in Vancouver and nearby Victoria and Nanaimo; numerous science and transportation research facilities; the Province of British Columbia and City of Vancouver’s commitment to the decarbonization of transportation; and the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia corridor (Vancouver-Seattle-Portland), as one of the busiest routes for the movement of goods and people between Canada and the United States.
Among the CAAM’s objectives are to create an AAM innovation hub to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grow their technology from a low technology readiness level (TRL) to certification and commercialization, while also expanding the AAM sector’s connections to regulators, manufacturers, aviation operators, infrastructure developers, academia, industry, and governments in Canada and internationally.
“The National Research Council of Canada is proud to be a part of the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility (CAAM) consortium since the start,” said Dr. Ibrahim Yimer, the NRC’s Vice-President of Transportation and Manufacturing. “We look forward to working with our 20 partners who are lending their expertise in the Advanced Air Mobility industry to decarbonize transportation, and create more efficient ways of moving people, goods and services and support more socially connected and integrated communities.”
According to the CAAM, the future of the new era in aviation will ultimately mean faster Medi-vac services, upwards of 4.2 million AAM travelers over the next 20 years, traveling between downtown Seattle and downtown Vancouver in 1 hour versus 3, expanding connections in remote communities and most importantly, creating new jobs.
For more information, the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility has provided public access to its white paper which elaborates on AAM’s missions and services for the Greater Vancouver Area, the Advanced Air Mobility Industry, and the importance as well as why Vancouver was selected to be the first region in Canada. In addition, CAAM hosts a quarterly Digital Open House that provides the public with an opportunity to connect with current stakeholders and learn more about the progress of AAM work in Canada. Visit the CAAM’s website here for details.
Why it’s important: The launch of a new aerial mobility initiative in the Vancouver area signifies the global capacity of this new generation of transportation. The CAAM will be a resource and ally to many of the Canada-based companies striving to make an impact on the manufacturing or commercial operation of new aerial mobility vehicles. The CAAM also mirrors a similar initiative – the Seattle-based Community Air Mobility Initiative (CAMI) – which seeks to garner public support of urban air mobility as the technology and regulations progress. CAMI intends to support the responsible integration of urban air mobility (UAM) into communities through education, communication, and advocacy; it recently announced its launch with the support of its founding members, including aircraft manufacturers Bell and Joby Aviation, as well as non-profit organizations such as the NBAA. Both the CAAM and CAMI have similar aspirations for the aerial mobility industry and, given their close geographical proximity, could very well collaborate on the advancement of R&D and commercialization efforts.
Source // Helijet International; CAAM press release