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Chongqing Aims to Build UAV Industry to Tens of Billions Level

By ZHAN CHEN|Oct 02,2022

Chongqing- Southwest China's Chongqing Liangjiang New Area was approved for the national-level civil unmanned aircraft test a few days ago, with its goal to research the safety, reliability, and verification compliance of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) and explore the investment, construction, usage, and management of innovative unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) infrastructure.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

The hydrogen-powered UAV with the longest endurance in China, named "Qingou 30," made its first flight in Chongqing. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

As one of the emerging equipment manufacturing sectors, the UAV industry has been booming in recent years.

Statistics show that the international market's investment in the UAV industry has increased more than 60 times in the past ten years, and the industry has maintained over 30% growth in the past two years. By 2025, the national market will reach 334 billion yuan (about 47.07 billion U.S. dollars).

In recent years, Chongqing has deployed UAV projects drastically, proposing to build the UAV industry to tens of billions level, which will add a new growth point for the equipment manufacturing industry upgrading in the city. 

Industrial-grade UAVs to have broader uses and prospects

UAVs are mainly divided into consumer grade and industrial grade. In consumer-grade UAVs, China's coastal areas have occupied most foreign and domestic markets, represented by Shenzhen DJI Sciences and Technologies Ltd, while industrial-grade UAVs are still in a period of rapid growth.

Compared with consumer-grade UAVs, industrial-grade UAVs tend to be larger but have broader uses and prospects.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

The fire-fighting UAV produced by Chongqing Guofei was drilled. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

According to professional forecasts, the scale of China's civil industry grade UAV market will exceed 150 billion yuan by 2025, accounting for more than 70% of the entire civil UAV market.

For Chongqing, it is undoubtedly a more realistic and effective path to seize the development opportunity of industrial-grade UAVs, whether combining its manufacturing advantages or keeping up with the development trend of the industry.

As an important manufacturing center, Chongqing is one of the cities with complete industrial categories in China, with a good foundation in the industry, research and development (R&D), and talents.

Meanwhile, Chongqing is building a national advanced manufacturing center, expanding its high-tech and strategic emerging industries, which will provide a solid foundation for the development of the UAV industry.

Chongqing's special mountainous scenarios demand UAVs 

Due to Chongqing's special mountainous landforms and geographical factors, industries such as agricultural plant protection, aerial photography, security, surveying, mapping, and logistics urgently need to introduce UAVs. 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

The owner uses the plant protection UAV to prevent insects on the rice. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

According to the trial construction, the Liangjiang New Area National Civil Unmanned Aviation Pilot Area combines the characteristic operation scenarios and local geographical and climatic environment to carry out a series of applications related to the large-scale protection of the Three Gorges Reservoir, vertical take-off, and landing of UAV freight in valleys, large-scale logistics UAV MRO, and comprehensive test flight of light and small UAVs. 

Taking plant protection as an example, Chongqing recently proposed promoting aerial seeding UAV when planting an additional 400,000 mu of winter rapeseed in some districts and counties.

From the previous experiments, the efficiency of aerial seeding technology is 60-100 times higher than manual work. The seeds are scattered more evenly, with the germination rate reaching 95%.

(Zhu Qinzhuo, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)


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