Nexa Advisors and the Vertical Flight Society (VFS) have formed an equity partnership in UAM Geomatics, a business intelligence entity aimed at accelerating investment into eVTOL aircraft and urban air mobility (UAM).
Launched last year, UAM Geomatics provides insights into potential UAM markets through its “Urban Air Mobility — Economics and Global Markets 2020-2040” study. Updated quarterly, the study provides forecasts for 75 metropolitan areas including costs for vehicles, infrastructure and UAM air traffic management, and cumulative revenue by market (e.g. airport shuttles, emergency services, on-demand air taxi, and business aviation).
The interactive online databases offer ArcGIS maps of each city including thousands of geocoded data features — such as heliports, hospitals, the power grid, and corporate head offices — and their characteristics. Not only are UAM Geomatics tools of interest to potential investors, they can also be used to visualize and approve new vertiport nodes and flight corridors, and simulate ground noise signatures along with efficient operations, the company said.
“More than 300 different types of eVTOL aircraft have been proposed and are catalogued in our World eVTOL Aircraft Directory,” stated Mike Hirschberg, executive director of VFS, which assisted with the research for the Economics and Global Markets study. “We estimate that a billion dollars a year is currently being invested in this sector. The toolsets provided through UAM Geomatics can greatly accelerate the realization of profitable eVTOL operations in metropolitan areas.”
According to Nexa Advisors managing partner Michael Dyment, “Before VFS members can sell aircraft to operators, sophisticated infrastructure must be in place — not just vertiports but also UTM traffic management systems. UAM Geomatics has modeled the costs of deployment for this infrastructure for all 75 cities.”
UAM Geomatics data sets are benefiting from ongoing improvements. For example, said company president Eleanor Herman, “We are currently adding three-dimensional models of certain cities in our ArcGIS toolsets, created out of stereo-orthophoto satellite maps, to enable 3-D airspace design of new vertiport locations, tunnels in space, and noise acoustics.”