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UAM operations “will add USD424 million to Southern Californian economy”

California State University has prepared for the Long Beach Economic Partnership a report predicting the economic impact of establishing and expanding urban air mobility operations in Southern California will be USD424 million in extra economic activity.

The report’s executive summary says:

“The Southern California region is one of the largest and most congested metropolitan regions in the United States. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim region was ranked number 1 in the US in 2019, in terms of annual delay per commuter, with 119 hours, and in terms of congestion cost, with over USD20.6 billion of lost productivity. There are large potential gains in terms of time and economic benefit if advances in transportation technology increase mobility for commuters, as well as other travellers.

“Urban Air Mobility (UAM) has been proposed as an augmentation to the transportation network that can increase urban transportation choices while contributing to sustainability and economic development. Aerospace manufacturers are in various stages of developing piloted and autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) for “air-taxi” services and are also planning for the eventual construction and operation of networks of vertiports in regions of the U.S. and elsewhere around the world.

“This study estimates the economic impact of a much-anticipated Urban Air Mobility sector in the city of Long Beach, California, and the greater Los Angeles-Orange County metropolitan area, in the middle of which it is located. A six-vertiport system is initially considered across this region, ultimately expanding to a ten and finally a twenty-vertiport system.

“The economic impact of UAM operations is divided into two distinct phases. The first phase includes construction activity and other capital expenditures associated with the initial creation of the infrastructure network and its subsequent expansion. The second phase includes the impact of the integrated UAM flight operations as the vertiport system rolls out and expands air taxi service overtime.

“Beginning with a six-vertiport system, there will be a total of USD82.0 million in outlays that include USD37.8 million in construction spending, communications infrastructure expenditures at USD16.1 million, and upgrading the electrical grid at USD16.0 million. The economic impact of the initial construction phase of the six-vertiport system is as follows:

  • “803 jobs, including 472 direct jobs and 331 indirect and induced jobs.
  • “USD67.5 million in labour income, including USD42.4 million in direct income and USD25.1 million in indirect and induced income.
  • “USD153.9 million in output, consisting of USD82.0 in direct output and USD71.9 million in indirect and induced output.

“When the system is expanded to twenty vertiports there will be total cumulative outlays of USD226 million in the region, resulting in 2,133 jobs, USD174.0 million in labour income, and USD423.6 million in economic output. Based on these estimated results:

  • “The output multiplier for the construction phase is 1.9, meaning that every USD1 million in direct expenditures results in 1.9 million in total output for the metro area economy.
  • “The jobs-to-expenditures multiplier is 9.4. That is, for every USD1 million in direct expenditures, 9.4 jobs are created.
  • “The average wage per worker over the three construction phases is USD79,800 per year.”

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(Image: Long Beach Economic Partnership)

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