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Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Market StudyThe Booz Allen Team explored market size and potential barriers to Urban Air Mobility (UAM) by focusing on three potential markets – Airport Shuttle, Air Taxi, and Air Ambulance. We found that the Airport Shuttle and Air Taxi markets are viable, with a significant total available market value in the U.S. of $500 billion, for a fully unconstrained scenario. In this unconstrained best-case scenario, passengers would have the ability to access and fly a UAM at any time, from any location to any destination, without being hindered by constraints such as weather, infrastructure, or traffic volume. Significant legal and regulatory, weather, certification, public perception, and infrastructure constraints exist, which reduce the market potential for these applications to only about 0.5% of the total available market, or $2.5 billion, in the near term. However, we determined that these constraints can be addressed through ongoing intra-governmental partnerships, government and industry collaboration, strong industry commitment, and existing legal and regulatory enablers. We found that the Air Ambulance market is not a viable market if served by electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles due to technology constraints but may potentially be viable if a hybrid VTOL aircraft are utilized. The barriers and challenges we characterized in this study can be stratified according to their applicability or potential mitigation through technology as well as market maturity (Figure 1). In the near term, high cost of service will be a key economic challenge. We found potential for significant reduction in service cost through increased vehicle and component efficiency, and automation in a more mature market scenario. Weather conditions also pose a challenge to the UAM market, though there is potential for mitigation of some of these impacts through technology such as sensors enabling operations in low visibility. However, even in a mature market with advanced technology, disruptions are still likely to occur due to weather events such as thunderstorms and strong winds. High density operations will likely stress the current Air Traffic Management (ATM) system in the near term, but technology and new initiatives such as the Air Traffic Management -eXploration project (ATM-X) will enable safe and efficient integration of UAM into the National Airspace System (NAS). Current battery technology creates a barrier in the near term, especially for the Air Ambulance market, as battery weight and extensive recharging times would be needed for these operations. Advancements in battery technology, as well as use of hybrid VTOLs, could significantly reduce this barrier in the longer term. As UAM emerges as a viable mode of transportation in the near term, adverse energy and environmental impacts, particularly noise, may impact community acceptance and potentially persist as the market matures into larger-scale operations. For non-technology related challenges, we found that infrastructure constraints will create a significant barrier to UAM in the near term but could be addressed in the longer term through development and expansion of vertiports. Competition from existing modes of transportation such as ride-sharing (e.g., Lyft, Uber) and ground taxi’s pose a key barrier to UAM in the short term, which will likely evolve into competition from other emerging technologies such as autonomous cars and electric trains in the longer term. Weather events will influence other components of the operation such as passenger comfort (e.g., extreme temperatures, turbulence) and infrastructure (e.g., winter weather causing cracks and degradation in vertiports). There is also potential for these impacts to be heightened in the longer term from the increased frequency of adverse weather such as thunderstorms due to changing climatic conditions. We also found that the public has strong concerns about safety as a passenger in a piloted UAM, including “lasing” of pilots, unruly passengers, and sabotage. They would prefer that all passengers pass through a security screening process before boarding a vehicle. They would also prefer to use UAM for longer regional trips, such as flying from Washington, DC to Baltimore, MD or San Diego, CA to Los Angeles, CA. A longer term automated UAM vehicle market will face challenges due to public apprehension about automation and unmanned operations, and a preference to fly with passengers they know in an autonomous (unmanned) operational scenario.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Contractor or Grantee Report
Rohit Goyal
(Booz Allen Hamilton (United States) Tysons Corner, Virginia, United States)
Colleen Reiche
(Booz Allen Hamilton (United States) Tysons Corner, Virginia, United States)
Chris Fernando
(Booz Allen Hamilton (United States) Tysons Corner, Virginia, United States)
Jacquie Serrao
(Booz Allen Hamilton (United States) Tysons Corner, Virginia, United States)
Shawn Kimmel
(Booz Allen Hamilton (United States) Tysons Corner, Virginia, United States)
Adam Cohen
(University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, California, United States)
Susan Shaheen
(University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, California, United States)
Date Acquired
March 12, 2019
Publication Date
November 21, 2018
Subject Category
Air Transportation And Safety
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Portions of document may include copyright protected material.
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