Estimated reading time 6 minutes, 7 seconds.
NEXA Advisors and the Vertical Flight Society (VFS) have announced the completion of a comprehensive year-long study, Urban Air Mobility — Economics and Global Markets. The groundbreaking NEXA report, undertaken in a partnership with VFS, contains forecasts for 74 metropolitan areas over the period of 2020 – 2040. The online databases include thousands of geocoded data features and characteristics of each city, as well as the study’s findings on their potential market for urban air mobility (UAM). Included on these web pages are custom ArcGIS maps of each city. The public can explore the deep city-level analysis available, using New York City as an example, at www.nexa-uam.com.
Each metropolitan area has a unique “DNA” — a complex blend of current transportation issues, congestion, population density, airports, existing transportation infrastructure, regulation, business aviation, gross domestic product (GDP), local politics, per capita income, and a host of other factors — that contribute to the likelihood of it being an early or late user of electric-powered vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
“Despite the many differences, even the smallest cities will eventually create sustainable and profitable UAM services for their communities,” said Michael Dyment, NEXA’s managing partner. “With over 60 data layers, the interactive city data sets allow subscribers to analyze their own investment opportunities and business cases, an unparalleled tool in today’s emerging UAM market.”
The study was conducted to accelerate investment into UAM markets. “We wrote it primarily because many of our investors and charter subscribers are hoping to unpack the universe of urban air mobility to put capital to work, but can’t yet decide what or where the early opportunities are,” said Dyment. “The UAM Market studies prepared by Morgan Stanley, Booz Allen and others over the past year were very good but high level, so we took a different approach: Start with the cities and examine UAM from the unique characteristics inherent in each one. This would help identify early investment opportunities.”
The report notes that there will be an “Inflection Point” when certified automation systems can permit pilotless passenger flights within the next decade; this is where the market will start to grow exponentially to an estimated 1.3 billion passengers predicted in the 74 cities over the 20-year period.
“This report is also a first attempt to identify the cost of UAM infrastructure: $32 billion for all 74 cities by 2040. This is very affordable as potential revenues generated from this infrastructure will be in excess of $244 billion,” Dyment noted. There are more investment opportunities than just infrastructure, however. “We tallied up a 20-year forecast of a $318 billion opportunity for infrastructure (vertiports, traffic management), vehicles and five different UAM operator segments: airport shuttle, on-demand air taxi, emergency services, business aviation (corporate campus) and regional (250 mile) point-to-point charters,” Dyment noted. “Six other market segments including cargo and military will be studied later.”