ENAV estimates “up to EUR 75 million in UTM income by 2028”

Italy’s air navigation service provider (ANSP) ENAV has become the world’s first ANSP to produce a public version of its UTM business plan, with proposed charging scales for UTM services for both recreational and professional drone operators.

ENAV’s Cristiano Baldoni outlined the proposed charging mechanism (which has yet to be ratified by the regulator) in the final session of the GUTMA UTM session at the World ATM Congress in Madrid. Later this month ENAV will announce its UTM service provider partner in a private/public partnership company (in which ENAV will have a majority share), which will manage Italy’s UTM system.

Area Service description Frequency Recreational Professional
Regulated services UAV registration (to ENAC) Registration fee (per UAV) una tantum EUR5 EUR5
Regulated services E identification and tracking Annual fee (per operator) EUR5 EUR20
Regulated services UTM box (lease for e ident and tracking) Annual fee EUR40 (optional) EUR40
Regulated services Support to mission – submission/approval Per mission (only specific) N/a EUR30
Regulated services Monitoring and alerting Fee per hour of flight (only specific) N/a EUR1
Non regulated serviceds Premium services Annual fee EUR5 Included


Key elements from the business plan:

  • Investment and running costs sustainable in the mid-term with a ROI between third and fifth year of operations
  • Total investment of EUR20 million in 10 years planned for full deployment of Italian U space to U4
  • Planning EUR50-60 million of operational costs to 2028 for revenues of EUR70-75 million with an increasing positive cash flow from fifth year of operation; more than 60% of revenues generated by regulated services to support specific missions (eg BVLOS/autonomous)
  • UTM Box lease in invariant in the cash flow. A built-in standard is welcome (as suggested by EASA opinion) but a temporary “e-identification add on system” solution is needed anyway.

No cash flow has been considered for non-regulated services. A lot of opportunities and significant business can be generated on top

The business case in built on the assumption that:

  • The market growth estimates will be confirmed (see table below)
  • The rule making process will confirm the current setting, as recently represented in the EASA opinion

Major risks are related to

  • EU legislation
  • Wasting of investment for lack of standard and IOP
  • Market expansion slowing down
  • BVLOS/ autonomous drone services market blocked or unexploited

Concerns are related to:

  • Capacity of penetration
  • Compliance to legislation from operators

Number of registered UAVS –universal registration for UAVS with a MTOW over 250 grams is expected to be mandatory by 2019

Market for forecast for drone numbers in Italy

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
Drones (000s) 41 66 103 144 160 194 216 234
Professional 19 26 28 30 31 37 39 40
Recreational 81 74 72 70 69 63 61 60
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