Autonomous aircraft market to reach ,060.5 Mn in 2031 : Skyward Revolution

Autonomous Aircraft Market Size, Forecast, Share, Trends 2023

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE, UNITED STATES, November 23, 2023 / — The autonomous aircraft can be defined as an unmanned aircraft, which does not require pilot intervention in the management of the flight. The technology is similar to autonomous cars, which has the ability to fly independently. The autonomous aircraft eventually includes commercial flights, right now the innovations are being made with smaller drones and planes. Currently, both government-funded companies (military agencies) and private companies are working on creating the technology that will allow aircraft to fly autonomously while also having the capabilities to deal with sudden problems in the air. Keeping the aircraft and its passengers safe is the highest priority to these companies, and the capabilities to do so are expected to continue to advance. For instance, in India, in October 2021, the Ministry of Civil Aviation established the National Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) Policy Framework, the architecture, and mechanism for traffic management of autonomous aircraft in Very Low Level (VLL) airspace up to 1,000 feet above ground level.

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The autonomous aircraft market size was valued at $6.29 billion in 2021, and is estimated to reach $37.06 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 19.3% from 2022 to 2031.

In addition, the autonomous aircraft market has witnessed significant growth in recent years, owing to technological advancement, which is high in countries, such as the U.S., has led to the development of advanced autonomous aircraft, which can adapt to changing conditions as well as handle flying situations, without any human intervention. For instance, in October 2021, Xwing partnered with Textron Aviation, which manufactures aircrafts for commercial and military purposes to further develop its remote piloting technology for Textronโ€™s Cessna Grand Caravan utility aircraft. Both companies worked together to further develop and integrate autonomous flying technologies into Textronโ€™s aircrafts. Furthermore, the companies operating in the autonomous aircraft industry have adopted partnerships, product developments, and business expansions to increase their autonomous aircraft market share and expand their geographical presence. For instance, in November 2021, Kittyhawk further developed its technology by successfully operating a remotely-piloted passenger air taxi. It was a beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) flight and adopted many technologies such as Detect and Avoid (DAA), cameras, LIDAR and radar systems to help visually locate and avoid other aircraft. This laid down the path for further development in autonomous aircrafts.

The factors such as rise in adoption of autonomous cargo aircraft, surge in autonomy to reduce human errors, and increase in adoption of artificial intelligence in autonomous aircrafts, drive the growth of the autonomous aircraft market. However, increase in security issues & cyber threat and lack of standard infrastructure for operation & complex design and high initial investment are the factors expected to hamper the growth of the market. In addition, proactive government initiatives & support and rise in demand for improved surveillance are expected to create ample opportunities for the key players operating in the autonomous aircraft market.

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COVID-19 Impact Analysis:

The COVID-19 crisis is creating uncertainty in the market. Governments of different regions have announced total lockdown and temporarily shutdown of industries, thereby adversely affecting the overall production and sales. It also resulted in flight cancellations, travel bans, and quarantines, which led to massive slowing of the supply chain and logistics activities across the world. Also, the aviation industry is suffering financial losses in maintenance of airlines & airports without any growth in revenue, due to fall in air passenger traffic after the COVID-19 outbreak. Moreover, autonomous flight system test runs have delayed due to operational issues caused travel restrictions imposed by governments around the world as precautionary measures against COVID-19.

However, COVID-19 has had an impact on numerous operations of the OEMs, from R&D to manufacturing. The industry participants experienced short-term disruption in delivery systems and roll-outs, such disruption has created new opportunities for unmanned aerial vehicles technology such as drones with the adoption of autonomous aircraft system and has boosted usage of unmanned aerial systems (autonomous systems) across different commercial sectors. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of autonomous aircraft systems for unmanned aerial vehicles increased since it is the best replacement for reducing cross-infection. As a result, many governments have started using unmanned aerial vehicles or drones to transport medical supplies, food, and other requirements. For instance, in May 2021, The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) & Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) granted a conditional exemption to the Government of Telangana (India) for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights by using Autonomous Aircraft systems for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. Hence, rise in usage of autonomous systems across different commercial and defense applications is expected to bolster the demand for the autonomous aircraft market during the forecast period.

The leading players operating in the autonomous aircraft market are Northrop Grumman, Collins Aerospace, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Boeing, Airbus, Elbit Systems Ltd., Textron Inc., BAE Systems, SAAB, Aeronautics, Aerovironment, Inc., General Atomics., Embraer SA., Aston Martin and Kittyhawk.

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David Correa
Allied Analytics LLP
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