Urban Air Mobility Landscape ReportJuly 2018
Topics: Aviation and Aeronautics, Aviation Economic Analysis, Aviation Industry, Unmanned Systems, Transportation
The low-altitude landscape is quickly evolving. Ten years ago, it was rare to see a Remote Control (RC) helicopter operated by a hobbyist in a park. Fast forward a few years and the development of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) has enabled a variety of new applications, from inspection services and photography, to cargo delivery and search and rescue. The FAA recently reported that over 1 million operators in the United States have registered to fly a UAS. As the technology is improving, the applications for operating an unmanned aircraft are growing. Many companies now see an opportunity for passenger-carrying applications with small self-piloted aircraft. These technology advances have altered and continue to change the low-altitude urban air transportation environment.
This report provides an overview and initial examination of Urban Air Mobility, an emerging form of air transportation service in low-altitude airspace. It addresses six main questions: What is Urban Air Mobility (UAM)? What is enabling this new industry? Who are some major participants in UAM? What are the challenges to enabling UAM operations? When will we see UAM operations? Why does this matter? We expect the industry vision to evolve as technologies are matured and policies are enacted.