On The Radar
A joint study from Deloitte and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) predicts that the U.S. advanced air mobility (AAM) market, which includes flying taxis and cargo drones, will generate sales of $115 billion annually by 2035—equivalent to 0.5 percent of U.S. GDP. This emerging industry is also expected to create more than 280,000 “high paying” jobs in the same time frame, accounting for approximately 8 percent of the aerospace and defense workforce, the new report adds.
Forecast annual revenues by 2035 are initially almost evenly split between passenger and cargo, with the segments expected to reach $57 billion and $58 billion, respectively by 2035. Though the cargo mobility market is anticipated to be the first to grow and achieve scale, the passenger mobility market will catch up and exceed cargo after 2035, according to the report, “Advanced Air Mobility: Can the U.S. Afford to Lose the Race?”
Detailed in the study are estimates on AAM’s market growth potential and deployment/commercialization timing, as well as a roadmap for advancing and sustaining leadership in the sector. It also provides a framework to guide U.S. efforts related to the possible economic and national security benefits of adopting this mode of transportation.
“Our industry is on the cusp of the next great step in aviation technology,” said AIA president and CEO Eric Fanning. “By establishing a national strategy in AAM, we have the potential to give the U.S. a major competitive advantage in the global market and realize new national security benefits, including new ways to transport our troops and cargo. U.S. leadership in this emerging aviation technology is essential to bolstering our economy and innovation within America.”
AIA and Deloitte believe that electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are expected to be deployed in both rural and urban environments in the U.S. and other countries starting in 2025. “The deployment of AAM will require a sustained, collaborative approach between the private and public sectors to push for eVTOL aircraft to be widely accepted and adopted, sooner rather than later,” said Deloitte Global and U.S. aerospace and defense leader Robin Lineberger.
“With the market poised to grow sevenfold between 2025 and 2035, it’s important for U.S. policymakers and industries to cooperate now to ensure American leadership in this transformative emerging sector,” he added.
According to the study, the global race for AAM leadership is intensifying, and the U.S. faces strong competition from China, Germany, and South Korea. The stakes are high—U.S. leadership in AAM could reap an export market worth $20 billion by 2035, the study estimates.
Public-private cooperation could be key to development, the report notes. This includes “creating a clear and conducive policy environment that fosters public-private partnerships, streamlines vehicle testing and certification, and seamlessly integrates AAM into the existing airspace system.” Other focus areas are battery, artificial intelligence, and 5G technology research and development and the engineering talent for this effort, as well as developing and scaling the market with U.S. government investment and support to help build physical infrastructure such as vertiports or retrofit existing airports/heliports.
“Through a mix of balanced regulation and substantial investment in research, advanced technologies, physical infrastructure, and talent, the U.S. could be poised to lead in this new aerospace market,” the report concludes.