Sector Profile: Advanced Air Mobility

This article first appeared in the February issue of the Vancouver Economy Report.

Read the full report


The next frontier in aviation, advanced air mobility (AAM) facilitates the development of airspace above cities and exurban areas.


AAM aims to deliver advanced mobility options for residents, businesses, disadvantaged communities, Indigenous communities and emergency responders. Employing new technologies like lightweight electric motors and advanced composites, AAM’s zero-emissions aircraft support safe, green and affordable flight that promises to significantly relieve congestion in heavily populated areas.

$1.7 trillion
global market opportunity
estimated jobs in Metro Vancouver by 2040
largest seaplane fleet in the world
1st Ever
electric commercial flight, Harbour Air

Advanced air mobility has the potential to dramatically alter the way people and goods are moved within the host region. Applications could include sustainably transporting supplies to remote communities, transferring critically ill patients to major medical centres or reducing the environmental footprint of food delivery. With the appropriate regulations established from the outset, AAM could be an asset in the journey to improve social and environmental health.

VEC has engaged with the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility (CAAM) consortium to investigate policies, evaluate best-use cases, and locate sites to pilot AAM technology. Vancouver is well-positioned among global cities to host and develop the sector, with strong aviation infrastructure, government commitments to decarbonize transportation (March 2023 Update: you can read the resulting cluster analysis report “Advanced Air Mobility in Vancouver“, now). Furthermore, the city is situated in the Cascadia megaregion, one of the busiest routes for the movement of goods and people between Canada and the US, and one with numerous cross-border pledges of collaborative and sustainable economic development.


Vancouver Spotlight

InDro Robotics provides a range of remotely piloted aerial, water and land services as well as various mission-specific sensor packages to address the globe’s most complex issues.

Learn more:

InDro Robotics in the news:

  1. New York Power Authority successfully tests drone flights using private LTE wireless network for close-up inspections of power lines
  2. Building the access gap with drone technology
  3. How 5G drones are saving Canadian crops
  4. B.C. drone company flies ahead of pack

Photo: InDro Robotics


VEC & industry partners investigating opportunities related to advanced air mobility

  • The report “Advanced Air Mobility Comes to Vancouver,” commissioned by the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility (CAAM) consortium, explores AAM’s economic potential and outlines requirements to integrate this form of transportation into Canadian cities. The report also spotlights Vancouver as the ideal destination to pioneer AAM in North America and delves into the city’s potential to swiftly become an AAM world leader. Read the report here.
  • During the next several months, VEC will conduct a detailed AAM ecosystem analysis in Vancouver and Cascadia to identify prospective partnerships between local and regional businesses, academia and public entities. The research will include an investigation of Vancouver’s relative strengths and gaps compared to global destinations pursuing AAM while considering applications and opportunities for small to medium businesses and non-profits.



March 5, 2021 | Event Recap

Future-proofing Vancouver: Transformative ideas for economic resilience

On Vancouver Economic Commission and SFU Beedie School of Business, along with Regional Chief Terry Teegee, Mayor Kennedy Stewart, and speakers from the BC Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium (CAAM) gathered online for a moderated dialogue around themes of future-proofing Vancouver in anticipation of economic transformation.

JR Hammond, executive director at CAAM, joined the Future-proofing Vancouver to provide insights on urban air mobility and its potential to connect people and places more efficiently with zero-emission aviation.

Watch the video recap to check out some of the transformative applications for this emerging sector.