Knight Aerospace to support the Royal Canadian Air Force with Medical Module


Ensuring Safe Aeromedical Evacuations in the Global Era of Infectious Diseases

May 29, 2020 – Defence Stories

Medical evacuations (MEDEVAC) are not new to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). In fact, MEDEVAC are a regular part of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) missions

The RCAF Search and Rescue Force execute MEDEVAC on an almost daily basis in some of the most challenging regions of Canada. The Canadian Forces Aeromedical Evacuation Flight (CF AE) are routinely tasked to evacuate CAF members members with various injuries or illnesses from anywhere in the world. In a larger scale, the RCAF is a key player in support of Government of Canada responses to international and domestic emergencies, providing evacuation services wherever and whenver needed.
Read more on the Government of Canada’s National Defence News.


1 June 2020


Knight Aerospace – Bianca Rhodes (210) 413-7776;

Royal Canadian Air Force – Project Director Lt. Col Jean Leroux


State-of-the-art medical units quickly convert air cargo aircraft into flying medical facilities.

The technology can be deployed to remote Canadian locations and internationally to support patients impacted by pandemics, natural disasters and armed conflict.


San Antonio, Texas – Canada will acquire Knight Aerospace’s Aeromedical Bio-Containment Evacuation System (ABES) (known alternatively as the Aeromedical Bio-Containment Module (ABCM)).  The self-contained medical unit is the first of its kind in the world: a comprehensive air-worthy system that is loaded quickly onto cargo aircraft to provide hospital-caliber medical treatment of critically injured, ill, contaminated or contagious patients while in flight. It is built on a structure which fully integrates with the aircraft for maximum safety.

The modules, which have undergone years of rigorous design and were developed in close consultation with defense and medical experts from around the world, are fully-equipped facilities far beyond typical evacuation transport. The units can be rolled into C-130(J), C-17 and similar large cargo aircraft to accommodate 4 to 16 patients plus medical personnel. They include a wide range of critical care capabilities, such as pressurized negative airflow to isolate highly contagious patients; three separate areas for maximum separation and protection of patients and caregivers (Patient Area, Anteroom, Staff Area), lavatory facilities, and additional features which provide the ability to perform advanced medical procedures in a hospital-like setting, improving medical outcomes and saving lives.   

Of importance when transporting highly contagious evacuees, the units allow for the separation of the patients and aircrew, thus minimizing exposure to diseases and eliminating the need for aircraft decontamination, which is extremely costly and time-consuming, requiring aircraft to be out of service for extended periods of time.

Once they are unloaded, the units can remain fully functional and can even be operated as remote clinics. This also allows the aircraft in which they traveled to immediately return to other uses, such as transportation of supplies, military personnel or additional medical modules. 

Inside the units, a separate oxygen supply provides operating room level air quality and the ability to extend comprehensive care in an aerospace environment under a vast range of emergency scenarios, such as pandemics, humanitarian relief after a natural disaster and in conflict areas around the world.   

“Our mission is focused on providing an innovative system that will save lives,” said Bianca Rhodes, Knight Aerospace President and CEO. “COVID 19 has revealed a significant capability gap throughout the world. Quite simply, there are no other means that are as safe and efficient to transport patients by air in the wake of increasingly severe natural disasters, fast-spreading pandemics and other emergency scenarios around the world.  Canada is a leading provider of medical evacuation not only for its own needs, but also in assisting global humanitarian efforts,” she added.

“The ABES will provide a critical care environment that is unmatched by any other aeromedical transport capability in the world,” said Craig Manifold, DO, Knight Aerospace Chief Medical Officer. “Advanced techniques such as respiratory isolation, burn and trauma resuscitation and life-saving respiratory support can be used while transporting critically ill or injured soldiers and civilians.”

Founded in San Antonio over 30 years ago, Knight also builds and designs other comprehensive roll-on/roll-off modular and palletized systems for medical, VIP and other specialized air transport. The company also provides a wide range of Ground Support Equipment (GSE) designed for cargo aircraft including the C-130, C-17, C-390, C27J, A400M and C295 and various helicopters, allowing for increased flexibility and utilization.

In addition to a wide continuum of medical products, Knight’s modular systems include a wide range and combination of passenger seating, lavatories, galleys and communications equipment that increase the functionality of cargo aircraft operated by militaries, NGOs and other users.

Knight Aerospace is a woman and minority-owned small business. 


Rendering of the ABCM’s interior-medical units that allow aircraft to function as emergency rooms/ICUs that stabilize and treat patients as they are being evacuated. (Courtesy Knight Aerospace)

Knight Aerospace’s units can be quickly loaded and quickly transform the interior and uses of heavy cargo aircraft. Shown here is a Knight Aerospace’s Modular systems that have been approved airworthy to transport people on the C-130(J) and C17 aircraft. (Courtesy Knight Aerospace)

Elevating Air Cargo Logistics: Knight Aerospace and Recoil’s Aircraft Palletized Solutions
Rocket-propelled: Knight Aerospace pursues opportunities in future cargo transport 
Knight Aerospace Supplies Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) with Second Aeromedical Bio-Containment Evacuation System (ABES)


Stop by our office or fill out the form below so we can begin working together today.