Québec-based Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) infrastructure company Vports is creating an international electric AAM corridor between Syracuse Hancock International Airport, New York US, and VPorts’ vertiport in Mirabel, Canada. The aim is to foster establishment of an AAM ecosystem that will provide a platform for full commercial cargo transport operations using electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The first eVTOL aircraft test flights are planned for 2023.
A consortium of international organizations including VPorts, NUAIR, Syracuse Hancock International Airport, Aéro Montréal, Innovitech, the Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence (Alma), and Helijet International, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish international electric AAM corridors between Québec (Canada) and the US, says the press release.
“The aim of the corridors is to build an AAM ecosystem that will provide a platform for full commercial cargo transport operations using eVTOLs,” said Dr. Fethi Chebil, President and Founder of VPorts. “They will allow the consortium’s members to explore all aspects of AAM, including goods transportation, charging readiness, stakeholder management, business cases, security and safety protocols, social acceptability and urban integration of infrastructure and operations. Many companies and organizations rapidly investing in these related new capabilities are present in Central New York State today with good prospects of growth, and others are likely to be attracted to the region.
The project stakeholders intend to work closely and proactively with Transport Canada, NAV CANADA, and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to leverage their respective expertise and regulatory authority to foster the implementation of an international framework that tests relevant technology, regulatory alignment and air traffic procedures and management.
New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced that the state will be providing the operator of the New York UAS test site NUAIR with an additional USD21 million in “Central New York Rising” Upstate Revitalization Initiative funding that will allow NUAIR to continue to cultivate the uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) and AAM industry hub in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley. The additional funding will allow for critical infrastructure to be tested and deployed to enable advanced industry applications, state agency adoption of UAS, AAM development, and associated workforce development.
A recent study by NEXA Capital estimates that the full expansion of UAS and AAM-related industries to Central New York could create over 8,100 full-time jobs by 2040, while incrementally generating over USD1.3 billion in direct, indirect, and induced economic benefits. This includes direct effects of investment in the region of up to USD130 million, the indirect effects of household earnings of workers, and the induced effects of value-added benefits and additional industry earnings. This impact on the region will produce jobs for an emerging knowledge-based economic sector, with highly skilled workers sourced in part by existing New York State university institutions, says the NUAIR press release.
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