New report outlines how Vancouver’s advanced air mobility industry could take off in the region
Vancouver Economic Commission and partners report emphasizes environmental, social use cases for AAM
March 29, 2023 – (Vancouver, B.C.) – The Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) and Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium (CAAM) today released a report that suggests Vancouver could be a prime location for the development and utilization of advanced air mobility (AAM).
The report provides a review of successful international AAM hubs and a gap analysis of the Vancouver region for stakeholders to better understand the emerging AAM industry and the region’s greatest opportunities and barriers to success.
“It’s clear that advanced air mobility is coming to markets internationally, and Vancouver is already a test site for decarbonizing commercial aviation. We’re most interested in seeing how AAM will uplift – as opposed to displace – critical activities in some of Vancouver and BC’s existing sectors, like supporting search and rescue or wildfire responses,” says James Raymond, senior manager of research at the Vancouver Economic Commission and one of the report’s key contributors.
According to the report, Vancouver’s greatest assets as an AAM hub include its hydrogen fuel cell cluster, net-zero transportation, and drone manufacturers. These match well with what the report considers the highest-value uses of AAM, which include decarbonizing transportation via zero-emissions aviation using clean electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology and delivering critical payloads for medical, rescue, and other emergency or disaster response purposes.
“AAM has the potential to literally add an entirely different dimension to building Vancouver’s economic resilience,” says Raymond.
Clear, unifying vision and regulation for advanced air mobility critical for success in Vancouver region
Advanced air mobility is a fast-evolving space with new, developing technologies. As such, the report identifies one of the greatest gaps as having to do with clarity and consistency in transportation and safety policy. Achieving this requires comprehensive collaboration across all orders of government, particularly with transportation regulators, and ongoing consultation with industry leaders.
“CAAM, as the federal not-for-profit responsible for AAM in Canada, supports the growing awareness of the AAM market and the future impact on how we move people, goods, and services with zero-emission aviation,” says JR Hammond, Executive Director of CAAM. “On behalf of the entire CAAM ecosystem, we are excited to see how this report further stimulates Industry, government, and academia to expedite our implementation of advanced air mobility in Vancouver.”
High-value and near-term use cases include medical supplies delivery, geological and marine survey, wildfire services, and marine port and ship-to-shore operations. On the other hand, the report identifies personal passenger mobility or door-to-door delivery applications of advanced air mobility as longer-term and lower value due to factors related to critical policy and regulation. Report findings suggest that scaling up advanced air mobility with uncrewed aircraft systems and passenger air mobility is only likely to happen after 2030, and only upon obtaining the necessary social licence from communities and governments.
“This report really showcases the work, insight, and progress of AAM in the Vancouver region,” concludes Hammond.
Those interested in a free copy of the report may access it at vancouvereconomic.com/aam
About the Vancouver Economic Commission
The Vancouver Economic Commission is proud to serve one of the world’s fastest-growing, low-carbon economies. As the economic development agency of the City of Vancouver, VEC strengthens Vancouver’s economic future by building a prosperous, inclusive, zero-carbon and resilient local economy, competitively positioned in the global market. It does so by developing programs, supporting local companies, attracting targeted high-impact investment, and conducting and publishing thoughtful leading-edge industry research.
VEC respectfully acknowledges that it is located on the unceded ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ / sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
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