According to a PWC report, drones can give the UK a £45 billion boost. It also sees a £22 bln net saving to be made in the UK by a potential fleet of 900k+ drones. Furthermore, the PWC report sees an extra 650K jobs added to the UK economy and a reduction of carbon emissions equivalent to 1.7 million cars on the road. All of this while taking into account jobs lost. So, how will it work?
According to Bloomberg, there is due to be testing this summer in the UK on a so-called ‘drone superhighway’. The idea is that a 165-mile-long, six miles wide, and hundreds of feet-high corridor will become an area filled with drones. The first part of the corridor is due to be between Reading and Coventry which will then be extended to Oxford, Milton, Keynes, Cambridge & Rugby.
The drone corridor
The ultimate goal is to have a multi-layered corridor with small drones carrying packages at the lower level and passenger-carrying drones at the higher level. The air traffic control system will be automated by ground sensors which keep all the drones apart. So, although passenger-carrying drones are not there yet, the ultimate ambition is to see this transportation realised.
The main risk to this new technology is how acceptable drones are to the UK public, as well as the regulatory hurdles in adopting it.
This could position the UK as a world leader in drone adoption, as well as give the UK a decent GDP boost if PWC’s report is correct. So, keep an eye on this story for the UK as testing starts in the summer. The UK FTSE 100 remains capped by the big round number at 8000.