Getting to Know AAM & Drones: What are the Key Challenges and Opportunities?
The potential value of the drone industry to the UK has been the subject of many studies to date, all pointing to GDP growth…
PwC in its July 2022 report on Drones estimated that drones would save businesses an estimated £22bn by 2030 and contribute £45bn to the UK economy, not to mention carbon footprint reduction and job creation. A more recent PwC report in July 2023 also points to drones being the vanguard for much of future aviation technologies. For example, ubiquitous commercial drones could pave the way for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) to become socially desirable and for other pivotal future aviation technologies such as integrated Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) and vertiport infrastructure.
The UK Government has recognised the importance of drones and AAM, and the various challenges to enabling their growth, which include: social perception, infrastructure, technology, airspace management and integration, safety and security, regulation, business models and skills – to name a few! The UK Government is active and supportive through various initiatives such as Connected Places Catapult, Satellite Applications Catapult, the UK Research & Innovation Future Flight Challenge (Phases 1, 2 and 3), and Future of Flight Industry Group / programme (DfT, CAA). Overcoming these challenges, however, requires full industry engagement, and that’s where Ebeni and like-minded companies can make the difference.
The Ebeni Future Air Mobility (FAM) team utilises its broad aviation capabilities to assure drone and AAM development. But we go further to understand the existing regulatory, operational environment and technical emergences before presenting structured and effective solutions to both the client and the regulator, including further guidance on technical and software standards. For example, we explore the complex problems associated with low-level drone operations beyond visual line of sight, and structure assurance that considers the operational and engineering safety, cybersecurity, software assurance, certification and airworthiness within a particular airspace. We provide management, strategic planning, policy development, guidance on standards, and support on the integration of aviation and non-aviation drone regulation. Within this context we offer Manufacturers, Operators, Local Authorities and UTM Service Providers effective solutions to build a safer and more secure business through the entire lifecycle. This includes regulatory guidance, assurance, safety management, aerospace, design and certification.
Our partnership with other organisations, such as those within the National Drone Innovation Gateway, and strong relationships with Regulators and wider industry, enables us to help organisations to build their business and scale their operations, whilst providing solutions for the drone and AAM industry ecosystem that align with the Government objectives.
 Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) Report – Skies Without Limits V2.0 – The Potential to take the UK’s economy to new heights, July 2022
 PwC Report – Advanced Air Mobility – UK Economic Impact Study, July 2023