Vancouver-based Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium (CAAM) was officially launched on October 28 as a multi-stakeholder group that will streamline research, development and commercial operations in what it describes as the Advanced Air Mobility sector.
Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), explains CAAM, 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 itself was initiated and created by Canadian Air Mobility and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). There are currently more than 20 partners involved in the national effort. CAAM points to key members as including TransLink, Helijet International, British Columbia Institute of Technology, the University of British Columbia, Bell Textron and Iskwew Air, among other Canadian operations.
“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 and 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, CAAM explains the aircraft being developed by its members will also 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. The developments will also improve the emergency response and assessment of natural disasters such as floods and wildfires.
In terms of the Greater Vancouver Area serving as a promising AAM market, CAAM points to the following factors: 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 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 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.”
CAAM explains the future of AAM means faster medevac services, upwards of 4.2 million AAM travellers over the next 20 years, traveling between downtown Seattle and downtown Vancouver in one hour versus three, expanding connections in remote communities and creating new jobs.