“Urban UTM and EU deadline accelerate global UTM market to USD1.38 billion” – new report

The December 2021 forecast for the global UAS traffic management (UTM) market in 2021-2025 from Unmanned Airspace has identified a new sector value of USD1.38 billion, made up of awards from commercial, strategic national UTM development programmes and tactical UTM service operational charges. This is an increase from the USD1.27 billion of edition 4.1, published in July 2021

This is based on a top-down view of the global UAS market, taking into account the most reliable and conservative commercial UAS market forecasts, and applying estimates of UTM as a percentage of the overall commercial drone market, then marrying these values to historic and forecast contract awards and charges on a bottom-up, country-by-country, basis.

“States drew back from operational UTM deployment programmes after 2018 for a number of reasons, including uncertainty over regulatory developments and standards and a lack of maturity in key technologies to support more automated beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights,” said the report author Philip Butterworth-Hayes. “The COVID-19 pandemic also slowed the capacity of regulators and air navigation service providers to develop new programmes and investments in areas which rely on income from traditional commercial aviation sources.

“The second half of 2021 has been marked by slow but steady progress in the development of UTM regulations and technology maturity research but more spectacular growth in the emergence of urban air mobility (UAM) UTM development with the deployment of the world’s first commercial prototype UAM UTM system in Antwerp port.”

The UK has emerged as the most dynamic urban UTM market, outside the USA, with no less than 12 urban airspace integration projects under way, with Spain close behind. Only one national UTM programme was awarded in the second half of 2021, in Spain, with other commercial contracts based on city or regional drone eco-system management organisations, rather than central governments.

“The FAA and NASA in the USA and the European Union and EASA in Europe are accelerating their urban UTM research efforts to ensure technologies, regulations and standards will be in place for the commercial market entry of eVTOL operations in the next two to three years,” said Butterworth-Hayes. “In contrast to the UK’s rather scattergun approach of multiple programmes researching niche areas of the urban airspace integration sector, France is zeroing in one key programme, the Pontoise eVTOL vertiport operation, to develop a single environment to test all aspects of UAM aviation technical and operational maturity to ensure commercial eVTOL operations will be ready for the 2024 Olympics.

“Elsewhere, Canada, China, Germany, Israel (with the NAAMA programme), Italy, Japan and South Korea are leading the global race to have a mature UAM UTM system in place to support multiple urban air operations in the mid half of this century, supporting urban both drone and eVTOL operations.  The greatest technical and regulatory challenge they all face, however, may not be in the development of initial passenger carrying services – which will tend to be along an air-corridor airspace design with limited operations – but the development and deployment of a mature UTM system which can support multiple-platforms flying in a free route airspace environment.”

In Europe, the preparation of U-space compliance will be mandatory in 2023 and this is now starting to drive the market for ANSPs and States to accelerate U-space programmes, a timetable which has been severely impacted by the COVID pandemic. According to recorded progress on U-space implementation in Europe Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia, Denmark, Hungary, Slovakia and Sweden will soon be announcing national U-space programmes.

For more information on The Market for UAV Traffic Management Systems please visit https://www.unmannedairspace.info/uav-traffic-management-services/ or contact the author at philip@unmannedairspace.info.

For sample pages, please visit https://www.unmannedairspace.info/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Unmanned-airspace-forecast-report-Edition-4.2.2021.December-2021.sample.pdf

(Image: Shutterstock)

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