It’s anticipated that a rapidly evolving new generation of electrically powered advanced aircraft will soon offer new options for air ambulance transport. Although their use in cities has received a lot of attention, well-prepared rural communities can benefit from many of the same opportunities.
In order to assist Appalachian communities in being ready, Ohio University and the Ohio Department of Transportation are working together. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has given the University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service a $50,000 grant to advance and promote creative air mobility uses in Ohio’s Appalachian Region. Together with FlyOhio and JobsOhio, OHIO’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service will investigate Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) opportunities for the area’s business, transportation, medical, and logistical needs.
Researchers from the three organizations will have a documented economic development strategy at the conclusion of the project, including the creation of local case studies and a report examining the potential for new entrepreneurial activities as a result of AAM.
The Rural Areas will Benefit from the Air Ambulance Transport
Bringing AAM technology to rural areas like Southeastern Ohio will primarily be used for emergency air ambulance services, as well as other uses like transporting both people and cargo and making deliveries. The AAM technology will open up new applications that could benefit underserved areas and promote economic development. Populations are dispersed throughout the area, but having access to these transportation options makes organ donation, blood transfusion supplies, and many other forms of essential medical care more affordable and effective. The researchers hope that this technology will, among other things, close gaps in the healthcare system.
The Research is Still On
Prior to actually implementing the technology, the initial stages of research involve explaining the current state of the technology to important economic developers and local government officials, examining the economic potential, and getting community feedback on their priorities and needs.