German urban air mobility startup D3 Technologies has become the latest company to join the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium (CAAM), and will contribute its pioneering work in air traffic control automation to the first airspace use case in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The company is one of 50 members across academia, capital, government and industry, which are working together to create an ecosystem to support the introduction of advanced air mobility in Canada. D3 is developing a safe, automated deep-tech system which creates digital roads and road signs in real-time, with the goal to provide scalable air traffic control and enable automated flight.
Achim Kostron, Chief Commercial Officer at D3 Technologies AG, said: “We highly value the opportunity to incorporate Air Traffic Control best practices and the forward thinking of Advanced Air Mobility in a current, revenue generating project that will demonstrate proof of concept to regulators such as Nav Canada and unlock future use cases.
“The interdisciplinary partner models put together by CAAM will accelerate AAM worldwide! We are excited to be part of this progress and to enable regulators to evaluate the options of future urban air traffic control.”
D3’s platform consists of one or several ground module and per-vehicle avionics, transceivers and sensor suites. Its proprietary safety architecture and embedded software allow for central route planning and route clearance, as well as additional safety functionalities in the vehicle.
The system can accept both piloted and unpiloted, fully automatic vehicles. APIs enable data exchange for application builders, enabling 3rd-party offerings. Airspace owners can manage usage and its platform is open to all services, vehicle and added value providers.
CAAM is currently working on ‘Phase Two’ of its Vancouver Project, following the successful feasibility study in Phase One which outlined the roadmap and triple bottom line analysis. The focus is now on developing a path to operational action plan this year, which will lead to the first revenue-generating services in Canada.
The two use cases it is pursuing involves transporting cancer isotopes from Vancouver to Victoria, in collaboration with founding CAAM member Helijet, and partnering with InDro Robotics to leverage its existing approvals for utilising a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). This will be used to deliver prescription medication from Vancouver Island to a remote Indigenous community on Penelakut Island.
JR Hammond, Executive Director of CAAM, said: “A scalable air traffic control solution will be essential for governments to benefit from AAM. We are looking for the air traffic control solution that has the highest probability of applying to an effective national framework.
“D3’s automated approach with high safety standards is a great opportunity for Canada. We are happy to have their capabilities and expertise onboard the Canadian AAM Master Plan Project as we strategize the first 20 years of AAM in Canada. D3 and CAAM are aligned on our thinking concerning approach and timeline.”
Notable CAAM members include Jaunt Air Mobility, Bell Textron, Horizon Aircraft, Varon Vehicles, Skyports, Iskwew Air, The Vertical Flight Society, the Community Air Mobility Initiative, the National Research Council of Canada, the British Columbia Aviation Council, Harbour Seaplanes, Nexa Capital Partners and the universities of British Columbia, Toronto and Victoria.
CAAM’s goal is a zero-emission AAM transportation system in urban and rural communities for people, goods, and services. It aims to achieve zero emissions in British Columbia by 2040.