On The Radar
Public acceptance is widely regarded as a key factor–some might say obstacle–in plans to launch and expand advanced air mobility (AAM) operations, and especially in more densely populated urban areas. Most eVTOL aircraft pioneers accept that they can’t take it for granted that their new technology and business models will be accepted with open arms.
Aviation generally isn’t always viewed as a good neighbor, and what the AAM sector is proposing is beyond the wildest imagination of some people. Winning hearts and minds will likely require a lot of time spent engaging with stakeholders at all levels, and this means that advocates need to have their story straight in terms of what communities and those that serve them can expect.
The Canadian Advanced Air Mobility (CAAM) consortium is evangelizing for the new industry with ambitious plans to see this mode of transportation take hold in cities across Canada. Its initial focus is on the Greater Vancouver metropolitan area, with the Pacific coast city widely viewed as having an ideal geographical profile in which eVTOL aircraft can prove their worth.
Last week, CAAM published a trio of new studies to establish a foundation for its community engagement case. These build on the white paper it published in October when the group publicly launched its mission.
An economic impact report, produced like the white paper by Nexa Advisors, projects that the development of AAM in Vancouver could generate around C$2.2 billion of GDP output over the next 20 years. This could underpin, directly and indirectly, as many as just under 17,000 new jobs in the area.
CAAM also commissioned Brightspot Climate to produce an environmental analysis. This is based on a so-called life cycle inventory comparing anticipated eVTOL aircraft operations with existing ground transportation and helicopter services in the area. It specifically looks at AAM use cases, such as emergency medical support flights, public transportation, and freight.
Based on these new studies, CAAM has produced an engagement strategy that it intends to pursue as it works to make sure that everyone is ready for liftoff, or at least willing to see others liftoff.