FAA Aerospace Forecast 2020-2040

Aviation demand is driven by economic
activity, and a growing U.S. and world economy is
the basis for aviation to grow over the long run. The 2020 FAA forecast calls for U.S. carrier domestic passenger growth over the next 20 years to average 2.0 percent per year.

System traffic in revenue passenger miles (RPMs) is projected to increase by 2.5 percent a year between 2020 and 2040. Domestic RPMs are forecast to grow 2.3 percent a year while International RPMs are forecast to grow significantly faster at 3.0 percent a year. System capacity as measured by available seat miles (ASMs) is forecast to grow in line with the increases in demand. The number of seats per aircraft is growing, especially in the regional jet market, where we expect the number of 50 seat regional jets to fall to just a handful by 2030, replaced by 70-90 seat aircraft.

Drone Delivery Might Be 1% of Deliveries by 2030

By 2030 “last mile package delivery” could be profitable at a price point of $4.20 per delivery and may result in around 500 million deliveries annually with a fleet of 40,000. There were 87 billion parcels delivered in 2018 and this was over double the level of 2014. The total global parcel deliveries in 2030 should be about 500 billion to 1 trillion parcels.

Meal delivery in the USA made over $5 billion in revenue in 2020 and Food delivery (meal and groceries) globally could reach $500 billion in 2025.

There were 387 drone accidents in 2018 in the USA. There were collisions into buildings that caused over $10,000 in damage. There were problems around airports.

There are about 1-2 million lightly used small hobby and recreation drones. A smaller number of professional drones (camera drones for real estate etc..) and a few hundred larger drones for industrial, military and agricultural applications. Last-mile drone delivery would increase the drone fleet by 10-100 times. Drone delivery would increase drone usage by over 1000 times.

Delivery drones will have to outcompete ground based alternatives. If delivery drones have success then the safety problems will have to be solved.

Electric and self-driving trucks will lower the cost of ground delivery by 5-10 times. Nextbigfuture thinks electric self driving trucks and small self driving two and three wheel vehicles will be far more popular for all deliveries including last mile deliveries.

SOURCES -FAA, Brian Wang analysis
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

16 thoughts on “FAA Aerospace Forecast 2020-2040”

  1. Is the ocean completely filled with large ships? There is advantage in shipping by large ship?
    How many things does a person really need in a day? Are they going to buy a new pair of underpants every day?
    Maximum average (my guess): 3 meals, 2 snacks, maybe 5 other deliveries, and 4 trips places. So 14 mostly small drone journeys. Then the small drones will probably take stuff to more than one house reducing those trips.
    And it also means less road traffic and less road noise.
    I guess the nightmare scenario is people living in crates with zero food storage, no trash cans, no toilets and reliance on drones to bring absolutely everything to them and remove their trash, human waste, garbage, and dirty laundry one article at a time. I don't think that is probable. 
    Or even worse, battery life goes insane, 1,000x energy density or whatever and Amazon or some other company competing to be the fastest just keeps their whole inventory in the air ready for when someone orders something. 
    Then combine the two nightmare scenarios?
    But this is just absurd dystopia. More likely is that max average 14 trip thing…or much less.
    There is quite a lot of sky you know?

  2. We are talking about a sky filled with drones. If it has an advantage, the assumption should be that sooner it will be maxed out.

  3. Random milliseconds of shadow interfering with your suntan? How very NIMBY. There is however the privacy issue. You can't just put something valuable in your yard or something that would attract trespassers like a trampoline that can't be seen from the street.

  4. It will have scheduling functions with your phone, when you get an alert it's out front you will go and only remove the package with your name on it.

    They're working on various solutions for the last leg of deliveries, solo packages per agent works but doesn't scale well. All others i'v seen are in a laughably primitive state of development.

    If you needed to fill out a reCAPTCHA in recent times, a related class of images to identify are those of stairs before assorted front doors. I'm sure many a worker are unknowingly crowdsourcing their future replacements.

  5. Exactly. I live in a dense urban area in an apt. building with 700 others. The amount of packages we get on a daily level is insane, and has grown exponentially due to Covid lockdowns and everyone ordering online, a trend that will only grow from here. Our building has to redesign its lobby to accommodate all the packages. Unloading the truck and getting the packages to the package room takes nearly an hour, and that includes the driver AND lobby personnel inside.
    None of this involves drones in any way. At most, they are good for single family homes in the burbs or rural areas (which brings range problems into the picture), and despite the pandemic, that's not where most people will live in the future.
    Plus, there is simply no safe space to dodge drones between buildings, weighing 10-30lbs with a package. If one of those things crashed into a building and fell, it could kill someone (falling facades have killed people, and resulted in local law 11, requiring total exterior inspections every 5 years).

  6. I'm not sure how a self driving delivery truck can work.

    The truck gets loaded up with parcels. Each parcel has a barcode on it giving the delivery address. The robot truck drives to the delivery address and then…

    What? It beeps the horn and hopes someone comes out to unload the truck?

  7. UAVs are kind of like 3D printers.

    The possibilities are endless. Few practical applications actually look compelling.

    They're technologies looking for problems to solve. If you want to drive change, it is much more effective to first understand what the real problems are and identify the technologies that can help solve them.

    If you want to reduce the cost of last mile deliveries, step one is to develop a detailed cost model for the process. Once you know the cost drivers, you can figure out what technologies would have meaningful impact.

  8. There will be a computerized network to manage drone traffic. Birds know how to fly in tandem. The problem will be noise, sky and sunlight pollution.

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