Advanced Air Mobility Market Intelligence

2021 Asia-Pacific UAM Survey 2021 – UAM Report 2022 1H

by Global Sky Team

2021 Asia-Pacific UAM Survey 2021 – UAM Report 2022 1H

Asian Sky Media initiated its first-ever market survey on the UAM industry at the end of 2021. The survey’s aim was to get opinions from Asia-Pacific’s business aviation operators, service providers and end users, as well as eVTOL start-ups and established OEMs and suppliers.

Over 480 respondents provided responses, with the majority located in Asia-Pacific’s major cities.

Below are the key findings of the survey:

1. Overall, respondents are optimistic – over 65% of respondents believe UAM will begin commercial operations within five years.

2. Aviation authorities in Asia-Pacific are in generally trusted to adopt regulations, as well as managing UAM risks.

3. Safety and Flying Stability are rated as the number one factors for UAM development and performance.

4. Infrastructure and affordability will be key issues in the future development of the UAM industry.

5. There is a difference between what the public and OEMs think should be the first use of UAM.

Respondents Overview

Optimism

The surved asked respondents if they are optimistic that commercial UAM operations can begin within the next five years. In general, respondents from both the business aviation and UAM communities share a high level of optimism that this can be achieved. In total, just 12% of respondents said that they are pessimistic, with 23% sitting on the fence.

There were no real differences in opinion about this question between respondents from business aviation and UAM industries. There was however a regional difference, with this especially pronounced in Greater China, where only 58% of respondents thought it would be possible.

Trust in Authorities

The overwhelming majority, almost three quarters of all respondents, place their general trust in the relevant authorities to manage the risks involved with UAM.

However, only 27% of respondents said that they “Fully Trust” them. This is a sign that the industry, as well as aviation authorities, still need time to both write and adopt the necessary regulations for safe UAM operations. This  could be due to stringent aviation traffic management in Asia-Pacific countries, as well as the seemingly conservative progress that each aviation authority is making when it comes to opening airspace for eVTOL aircraft.

We believe Greater China could be viewed as an example, where a much greater number of respondents trust the local authorities to ensure safe UAM operations.

UAM Development Factor Rating

Perhaps understandably, the respondents ranked safety and flying stability as the most important factors in UAM development.  The environment came joint last, alongside aircraft specifications.

Half of all respondents would be willing to travel between 10-30 minutes to get to and from a vertiport for a flight. However, 30 minutes would seem to be the maximum amount of time that people will be willing to travel, as only a combined 16% of respondents would be willing to spend more. This highlights the whole UAM ecosystems importance, not just the eVTOL vehicle.

Time and Budget

Overall, the majority of respondents would be happy to pay between one and a half and three times more for a trip by UAM if it was 60% quicker than by ground transportation. Less than 7% said that they would be willing to pay more than five times more.

However, eVTOL manufacturers say that over 30% of people would be willing to pay 10x more versus ground transportation.

Safety Requirement

Although the majority, 62.2%, of respondents said that UAM’s safety level should match the zero accident tolerance of commercial aviation, 34.3% said that they would accept the general aviation level, where accidents were rare.

On environmental impact, the noise generated by UAM vehicles is the biggest factor, with its impact on wildlife being the least important factor.

Initial UAM use

OEM and operators said that Emergency Medical Serivice (EMS) operations should be the first use of UAM. Firefighting, SAR and Law Enforcement came joint second.

Whilst passenger commuting services might not be coming to reality any time soon, end users would like eVTOL commuting options to replace current expensive Helicopter services.

This might not be possible in the short term, due to limited on infrastructure as well as traffic management. However, recreational flying might be a very good way to start building a path towards passenger services.

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Asia-Pacific eVTOL

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