Helinet Joins L.A. Urban Air Mobility Partnership

 - May 5, 2022, 8:33 AM
Helinet's two Sikorsky S-76 helicopters regularly fly missions supporting the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. (Photo: Helinet)

California-based helicopter operator Helinet is partnering with Urban Movement Labs (UML) to explore eVTOL applications for advanced air mobility in Los Angeles as a new member of the Urban Air Mobility Partnership. The partnership, announced in 2020 by L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti, will explore how aviation operators can integrate new eVTOL technology into their operations to reduce community impacts while enhancing safety and efficiency. Its work will be used to fashion regulations and policies governing local urban air mobility. 

Helinet operates a diverse, multi-mission helicopter fleet, including two Sikorsky S-76 helicopters tasked to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA). Since the inception of that program in 1998, Helinet has logged more than 10,000 trips in support of CHLA. The company also transports over 900 transplant organs annually.

Other missions conducted by Helinet include chartered passenger travel, medical supply transport, rapid parcel delivery, aerial firefighting, and filming. Helinet will share its experience with those missions to evaluate their applicability to eVTOLs and the attendant infrastructure requirements, including the addition of electric charging capacity. 

“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,” said Helinet CEO Kathryn Purwin.

Several eVTOL aircraft developers, including Archer, Volocopter, and Hyundai subsidiary Supernal are also working with Los Angeles officials on plans for air taxi operations. Wisk Aero is involved in a project with the neighboring city of Long Beach.