Helinet is to work with Urban Movement Labs (UML) to explore the future of air travel hand-in-hand with eVTOL aircraft manufacturers and the advanced air mobility industry in Los Angeles.

This partnership will explore how aviation operators like Helinet may integrate new eVTOL technology into their operations to reduce community impacts while enhancing safety and efficiency. Lessons learned will inform policy and regulatory decisions that will shape urban air mobility in cities.

In addition, it will also inform ground-based infrastructure needs, like additional electric charging capacity, at both Helinet’s facilities and commercial airports more broadly.

Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports, said: “Los Angeles World Airports welcomes the new partnership between Helinet and Urban Movement Labs. With the development of Urban Air Mobility, many of Helinet’s key missions, including medical delivery, firefighting, and news gathering could be flown in much quieter, zero-emission electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft in the not-too-distant future.”

Helinet’s experience in chartered passenger travel, transporting medical supplies, the time-sensitive delivery of organs, rapid parcel delivery, aerial firefighting, and filming from the sky will inform a future where these applications can be completed by eVTOLs.

Today, Helinet transports over 900 organs per year. As the primary helicopter provider for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), Helinet has two dedicated aircraft to transport critically ill children. Since the inception of this program in 1998, Helinet has reached more than 10,000 trips in support of CHLA.

Kathryn Purwin, CEO at Helinet, said: “Helinet values the benefits of new eVTOL technology, which can positively impact the environment and mitigate noise impacts on local communities. This partnership with UML will let us explore route opportunities, charging station technology implementation, and the testing of advanced air mobility aircraft.”

UML is a first-of-its-kind mobility-innovation organisation that links government, businesses, and community members to innovative technology solutions to help solve transportation challenges in the City of Los Angeles and beyond. It is committed to a community-first approach and ensuring that mobility innovations help build safe, equitable, and sustainable cities.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced The Urban Air Mobility Partnership in December 2020, which was first outlined in the Principles of the Urban Sky, co-authored by the World Economic Forum and the City of Los Angeles. Now entering its second year, the Partnership has added additional members and continues its work to help Los Angeles define the future of mobility.

Sam Morrissey, Executive Director at Urban Movement Labs, added: “At UML, we are proud to partner with Helinet. Our Urban Air Mobility Partnership will benefit from Helinet’s experience as a commercial aviation operator, informing policy development for both aerial operations and ground-based infrastructure needs.

“Additionally, the social-focused use cases, such as transporting critically ill children to hospitals, organ delivery, and firefighting missions, represent a huge value to the partnership members.”