Swanson Aviation Consutancy Ltd trading under the brand EAMaven was engaged by the Future Flight Challenge to undertake a deep dive on 20 potential rotues using Advanced Air Mobiltiy aircraft to explore the potential for electric aircraft operations in the UK.  This was an extension of the work undertaken on the Distributed Aviation paper as published by ADS https://www.adsgroup.org.uk/blog/distributed-aviation-a-new-economic-model-for-electric-aviation/


The Market Assessment Study

The purpose of the study, which was commissioned by the FFC and undertaken by aviation system design experts Swanson Aviation Consultancy Ltd under the brand Electric Aviation Maven (EAMaven), was to highlight the potential for electric aircraft operation to take its place in the UK domestic market, in order to improve regional connectivity and generate wider social and economic benefits.


The Market Assessment used a number of carefully selected example routes that cover a variety of commercial and consumer purposes. From here, the study assessed demand, cost, time savings and vehicle requirements to build a picture of the part that AAM can play in a future UK aviation system.


Economic and environmental benefits

The research on 20 routes suggests these elements would generate £704m in annual revenue, including an economic stimulation of around £124m a year directly from the increased productivity the future aviation system brings. This also creates a societal time saving benefit of 528 person years resulting from improved connectivity.


In line with net zero ambitions, the Market Assessment study also considers measures for reducing the carbon and energy impact of travel. The results suggest around 9,000 tonnes of carbon emissions can be saved over the identified routes from passengers switching from road to AAM transport, based upon reduced travel time and congestion, as well as changes to energy use.


Key outcomes


This assessment outlined a number of important conclusions from the research:

  • AAM is indeed economically viable and would provide a significant contribution to the economy, whilst also reducing carbon emissions of travel.
  • On many of the northern routes, there are viable numbers of travelers given the anticipated lower cost of AAM services, so the economic, environmental and societal benefits could be significant.
  • AAM can and should play an important role in connecting the four nations through the provision of services not economically viable through building new road or rail infrastructure.
  • Commercially viable routes are available that could be developed through private investment in the vehicles and infrastructure, with no need for investment from the public.


Gary Cutts, challenge director for the FFC, said: “When it comes to the UK’s future transport needs, it’s clear that innovation across the aviation space brings some substantial benefits that can’t be achieved by the existing network alone. This Market Assessment is a key part of the FFC’s wider vision and planning, showcasing how regional connectivity can be improved in both remote and congested parts of the UK.


“Creating an efficient and more effective transport system that includes low-carbon air travel generates substantial economic and environmental benefits. But it also tackles broader societal issues across a number of regions who suffer from the limitations of the current transport network. Using the results and use cases from this study, FFC will continue to develop our future aviation roadmap, engaging with the sector to help put these opportunities into practice.”


Future Work

EAMaven has developed the UK Regional Air Mobiltiy Index which is an assessment of the 40 Regional and Business Airport (RABA) group members.  This assessment identifed 390 potential routes among the group members excluding rotues to London.  In comparision in 2019 there was only 211 domestic routes 42 of which were London bound and only 38 of them overlapped with the 390 routes that were identified.  The key findings are presented at the end of the report and will be made available in late November 2022.

Download the document here: Market assessment for advanced air mobility in the UK – UKRI