Crown report: Ohio can expect USD13 billion economic impact over 25 years from autonomous aircraft sector

The US State of Ohio can expect more than USD13 billion in economic activity over the next 25 years if it takes targeted steps now to support the growth of an advanced autonomous aircraft (AAM) sector, according to a new report by Crown Consulting.

The new study, Infrastructure to Support Advanced Autonomous Aircraft Technologies in Ohio: An Economic Impact Analysis, was commissioned by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Crown, with partners NEXA Capital Partners LLC and University of Cincinnati, conducted a comprehensive analysis of Ohio’s infrastructure and assets that can support AAM, forecasted the potential economic benefits it could offer and recommended steps Ohio can take to capitalize on this emerging market.

Researchers concluded Ohio can expect AAM to contribute 15,000 new jobs, USD2.5 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues, and 1.6% GDP growth through 2045 if it acts now to develop an AAM sector.

The State of Ohio faces both opportunities and challenges with its transportation systems, according to Crown. As the seventh most populous state in the country and centrally located, Ohio has one of the largest highway networks in the country. Although this vast network serves the state well for moving people and cargo, population growth is driving increased operation and maintenance costs, which now total more than USD12 billion a year. The challenge is not going away. While Ohio’s population has grown by 3% since 2000, vehicle travel on Ohio’s roads has increased 8%.

Crown Senior Director of Aerospace Systems Dr. Rubén Del Rosario said: “Ohio needs transportation solutions to carry the state into the future that are sustainable, affordable and efficient. “Advanced air mobility – or AAM – can play a key role in that solution.”

AAM is air transportation that will move people and cargo between places not conveniently served now by surface transportation and underserved by aviation, he said. It will enable smart mobility solutions that connect urban and rural areas and regions for commuting that can be faster, more reliable and affordable, and less stressful than current modes of transport. Ohio can also expect significant benefits by expanding the use of small unmanned aircraft systems in Ohio, Del Rosario said.

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