Crown Consulting report says Ohio can expect $13 billion over 25 years by investing in advanced autonomous aircraft sector

The state of Ohio can expect more than $13 bil­lion in eco­nom­ic activ­i­ty over the next 25 years if it takes tar­get­ed steps to sup­port the growth of an advanced autonomous air­craft sec­tor, accord­ing to a new report by Crown Con­sult­ing.

Dr. Rubén Del Rosario, Crown Senior Direc­tor of Aero­space Sys­tems, report­ed the find­ings of a new study, Infra­struc­ture to Sup­port Advanced Autonomous Air­craft Tech­nolo­gies in Ohio: An Eco­nom­ic Impact Analy­sis, dur­ing a recent pub­lic brief­ing host­ed by the Ohio Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion, which com­mis­sioned the study.

Crown, with part­ners NEXA Cap­i­tal Part­ners LLC and Uni­ver­si­ty of Cincin­nati, was cho­sen by the Ohio’s Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (ODOT) to con­duct a com­pre­hen­sive analy­sis of the state’s infra­struc­ture and assets that can sup­port AAM in Octo­ber 2020.

They fore­cast­ed the poten­tial eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits it could offer and rec­om­mend­ed steps Ohio can take to cap­i­talise on this emerg­ing mar­ket. Researchers con­clud­ed the state can expect AAM to con­tribute 15,000 new jobs, $2.5 bil­lion in local, state and fed­er­al tax rev­enues, and 1.6 per cent GDP growth through 2045 if it acts now to devel­op an AAM sec­tor.

Del Rosario said: “The State of Ohio faces both oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges with its trans­porta­tion sys­tems. As the sev­enth most pop­u­lous state in the coun­try and cen­tral­ly locat­ed, Ohio has one of the largest high­way net­works in the coun­try.

“Although this vast net­work serves the state well for mov­ing peo­ple and car­go, pop­u­la­tion growth is dri­ving increased oper­a­tion and main­te­nance costs, which now total more than $12 bil­lion a year. The chal­lenge is not going away. While Ohio’s pop­u­la­tion has grown by three per cent since 2000, vehi­cle trav­el on Ohio’s roads has increased eight per cent.”

Ohio is one of the busier states in the USA when it comes to advanced air mobil­i­ty. A ground­break­ing cer­e­mo­ny to build an urban air mobil­i­ty sim­u­la­tor at Spring­field-Beck­ley Air­port took place in Decem­ber 2020 dur­ing AFWERX Accel­er­ate, which includ­ed BETA Tech­nolo­gies and Joby Avi­a­tion.

Dis­cus­sions are also in place with the city of Hill­wood, Ghost­wave, and Par­allex Advanced Research to inte­grate AAM sens­ing tech­nolo­gies into LIFT Air­craft’s HEXA eVTOL for med­ical emer­gency mis­sions.

Addi­tion­al­ly, Ohio Unmanned Air­craft Sys­tems Cen­ter of the Ohio Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion is one of four US states which will be work­ing with NASA as part of a series of work­shops to help gov­ern­ments pre­pare their trans­port plans to include car­go-car­ry­ing drone and pas­sen­ger-car­ry­ing air taxi ser­vices.

Del Rosario said: “Ohio needs trans­porta­tion solu­tions to car­ry the state into the future that are sus­tain­able, afford­able and effi­cient. “Advanced air mobil­i­ty – or AAM – can play a key role in that solu­tion.

“It will enable smart mobil­i­ty solu­tions that con­nect urban and rur­al areas and regions for com­mut­ing that can be faster, more reli­able and afford­able, and less stress­ful than cur­rent modes of trans­port. Ohio can also expect sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits by expand­ing the use of small unmanned air­craft sys­tems in Ohio.”

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Jason Pritchard

Jason Pritchard is the Editor of eVTOL Insights. He holds a BA from Leicester's De Montfort University and has worked in Journalism and Public Relations for more than a decade. Outside of work, Jason enjoys playing and watching football and golf. He also has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt.

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