VPorts has announced the creation of an international electric Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) corridor that will support eVTOL aircraft transporting commercial cargo and people.
The corridor will run between Syracuse Hancock International Airport (New
York) and VPorts’ vertiport in Mirabel (Québec, Canada), with the first eVTOL aircraft test flights planned for 2023.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by international organizations including VPorts, NUAIR, Syracuse Hancock International Airport, Aéro Montréal, Innovitech, the Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence (Alma), and Helijet International to establish these AAM corridors.
“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.”
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight commented: “New York’s state-of-the-art drone corridor further elevates our global leadership in this evolving market for cutting-edge UAS technology. Our ongoing investment and focus on drone and advanced air mobility corridor operations will continue to strengthen and grow the state-wide economy, especially in the Central New York and Mohawk Valley regions, for generations to come.”
“There are currently over 5,000 underutilized regional airports throughout the United States,” said NUAIR CEO Ken Stewart. “The development of this international AAM corridor between Syracuse, NY and Montreal will help lay the foundation for regional air mobility (RAM) operations for those underutilized airports, assisting with cargo deliveries and strengthening United States supply chains. NUAIR will build on the foundation of its 50-mile UAS Corridor, and UAS traffic management (UTM) systems and our work with NASA on Vertiport Automation Systems to integrate this next generation aircraft into America’s National Airspace System.”
VPorts believes creating the AAM corridor will provide underserved communities with a new transportation alternative that will reconnect those communities and provide additional economic opportunities to its members.
“The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA), operator of Syracuse Hancock International Airport, is proud to take part in the creation of an international electric AAM corridor,” added SRAA Executive Director Jason Terreri. “This undertaking, which will sustainably connect communities in Upstate New York and beyond, firmly aligns with the SRAA’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the electrification of transportation-related technology at SYR. SYR is one of the first airports in the U.S. to include UAS/AAM infrastructure planning as part of its Master Plan.”
According to VPorts, the project stakeholders will work closely with Transport Canada, NAV CANADA and the U.S. 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.