Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) technology is developing as a key answer as the demand for faster and more efficient transportation continues to climb.
The global AAM market was valued at approximately USD 8.93 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 45.12 billion by 2030, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.45% during the forecast period. This indicates a strong growth potential for the sector in the coming years.
North America leads with the highest market share at 39%. In Asia Pacific, the adoption of unmanned aircraft has been relatively slow, especially in some Southeast Asian countries like Thailand.
Thailand, operating some of Asia’s busiest airports, grapples with severe airspace congestion issues. Limited airspace capacity has led to challenges such as overcapacity at airports. For instance, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport handled over 60 million passengers in 2020, surpassing its designated capacity. The integration of AAM technology presents a promising solution to tackle these problems head-on.
By embracing AAM, Thailand can effectively address airspace congestion challenges. AAM’s vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, coupled with decentralized flight paths, enable efficient utilization of airspace and alleviate strain on traditional airport infrastructure.
In addition, AAM can bring significant economic benefits to the country. It can increase productivity and reduce shipping costs by improving transportation efficiency. Building AAM infrastructure can also lead to new job opportunities and attract investment in research and development, fostering a technology-driven ecosystem. Besides, it has the potential to boost Thaland’s attractivelness as a tourist destination by providing a novel and efficient form of transportation.
Heron AirBridge is Asia’s major provider of Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) and related infrastructure, providing a variety of goods and services to facilitate AAM adoption. Based out of Singapore, the firm works closely with regulators and industry stakeholders to help identify areas where AAM technology can be used to increase efficiency and productivity and promote the development of a favorable regulatory environment for AAM technology.
Most recently, Heron AirBridge has partnered with King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) to spearhead the research and development of UTM concepts and technologies in Thailand.
The Singaporean UTM expert will collaborate with KMITL’s International Academy of Aviation Industry to build up the local Thai expertise and capabilities required for the development of UAS traffic management concepts, technologies and services.
Ryan Lee, CEO and co-founder of Heron AirBridge, said,
‘We are proud that such a prestigious institution as KMITL has chosen to work with us. We hope that this partnership will kickstart long-term relationships in Thailand to support them on the Thailand 4.0 journey, where UASes can contribute significantly to increasing economic prosperity, improving social well-being, raising human values and protecting the environment.’
Under the agreement, the partnership will introduce and promote UTM services, operational concepts and workflows tailored to Thailand’s unique needs. It will highlight the benefits that AAM can bring to the different industries such as logistics, emergency services, agriculture, forestry and energy. The long-term goal is to establish a baseline UTM system that can be further customised according to the country’s future requirements.
Assistant Professor Dr. Soemsak Yooyen, the dean of the International Academy of Aviation Industry, added, ‘The partnership with Heron AirBridge marks a significant milestone for us. It will enable us to combine our strengths and expertise to create cutting-edge solutions in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles. We believe that this collaboration will open doors of opportunity for research, development and innovation in the aviation industry. We aim to establish a strong foundation for UTM concepts, operational workflows and technologies to pave the way for the future of aviation in Thailand.’
From the get-go, Heron AirBridge has been steadily strengthening its presence in Asia as part of its mission to foster the adoption of UAS deployment in Asia and beyond. The KMITL collaboration represents a great opportunity to acquire new knowledge and perform more beyond-the-visual-line-of-sight flight trials, which are now restricted in Singapore’s tight airspace.
By leveraging this experience, the drone technology startup eyes more cooperation opportunities with neighboring markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. These markets can also benefit from the broader use of UASes. Situated right in the hub of the region, Heron AirBridge can provide strong, localised support in their journey to develop their UTM capabilities and solutions.
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