Growing support for the launch of air taxi services could help boost remote communities in Canada with more people considering moving to remote areas, if access conditions improve according to new research.
Government data shows that roughly one in nine Canadians are classed as living in remote areas, which accounts for 74.6% of the Canadian landmass, and there is growing concern(3) about the long-term future of these remote communities.
However, a nationwide study by Horizon Aircraft, a Canadian-based innovative leader in hybrid electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aerial vehicles, shows the launch of air taxi services could play a vital role in revitalising rural communities.
The research, which included the views of people living in remote communities, found two out of three (66%) Canadians would welcome the use of air taxis to address negative issues associated with living in remote communities such as poor access to transport, isolation, and unreliable supplies of critical goods and medical supplies.
Canadians in general are very receptive to the idea of air taxis or eVTOLs – 60% said they would be happy to travel in a regulatory agency approved air taxi and nearly half (48%) would be happy to use them as soon as they are commercially operational.
Around 48% would be happy to fly in eVTOLs in other countries outside Canada.
The research by Horizon shows that the introduction of air taxis or eVTOLs could increase interest in Canada to moving to more remote areas – 45% may consider moving if eVTOLs were more readily available to enable travel and ensure a strong supply chain.
Regulators and eVTOL manufacturers and operators will need to focus on safety and pilot training if air taxis are to be seen as a viable mode of transport and attract customers.
Around 70% of those questioned said safety issues are very important, while 67% stressed the need for well-trained pilots. Around 56% said cost would be very important while just 28% said comfort was very important to them.
Brandon Robinson, CEO of Horizon Aircraft, said: “Properly designed eVTOLs could have multiple uses including urban transport, air ambulances, cargo transport, military and wildfire service use but in Canada they are particularly suited to addressing the issues faced by people living in remote communities.
“It is interesting to see that so many Canadians would consider moving to more remote areas if they could rely on safe and secure air taxi services.”
Horizon Aircraft is building an electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft that designed with a hybrid electric power system.