Shenzhen Government Online
Drones propel low-altitude economy
From: Shenzhen Daily
Updated: 2024-01-11 14:01

As an important part of the low-altitude economy, drones are widely used in various sectors such as smart cities, logistics, emergency response, aerial survey, and environmental protection.

As Shenzhen is seeking to build a robust low-altitude economy for sustained growth, drones are playing an ever-important role in the city's industrial chain, which is turning out to be greener and more heavily tech-inclined.

As of the end of 2023, Shenzhen had more than 1,700 drone companies, with an annual output value of 96 billion yuan (US$13.41 billion), an increase of 28% compared with a year earlier, according to a drone industry conference held earlier this week. 

Shenzhen launched 126 low-altitude routes, constructed 89 drone takeoff and landing points, and carried out over 600,000 drone cargo and comprehensive flights in 2023, official figures revealed during the conference showed.

Yang Jincai, a member of the European Academy of Sciences and the founding president of the Shenzhen UAV Industry Association, told the conference that the low-altitude economy is characterized by a vibrant and innovative integrated economic model driven by 85% drones and 15% general aviation operating in airspace below 3,000 meters.

Yang said that Shenzhen is the primary global production hub for civilian drones, with consumer-grade drones taking a 74% share of the global market and industrial-grade drones commanding approximately 55% of the domestic market.

Shenzhen's embrace of the drone-centric low-altitude economy has gained traction over the past year. 

Products from more than 1,500 drone-related companies, including DJI, the world's largest commercial drone manufacturer with almost 70% of the consumer drone market worldwide, Phoenix Wings, Meituan UAV, CITIC Offshore Helicopter, and Shenzhen East General Aviation, are involved in logistics distribution, urban governance, and emergency response.

According to the Shenzhen UAV Industry Association, the domestic market size of drones is expected to reach 160 billion yuan by 2024, with the drone delivery sector accounting for around 30 billion yuan.

Drones have become an important driving force for the development of the low-altitude economy, and as it becomes a strategic emerging industry, what takes off in Shenzhen is not only drones but also the thriving low-altitude economic industry, Shenzhen Economic Daily said in a report yesterday.