Chengdu authorities published on October 30 an article listing the southwestern Chinese city’s strengths in the industrial drone sector, pledging to grow its size to 10 billion yuan (US$1.37 billion) by 2025.
In an official WeChat post released by Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Economic and Information Technology, the city says it now boasts eight industrial funds devoted to industrial UAV, amounting to 12.85 billion yuan.
These funds are mostly state-run and include Sichuan Aviation Industry Development Equity Investment Fund, Chengdu CCIC and more.
“Year to date, the city has invested in two drone-related projects with a combined sum of 750 million yuan,” said an official with the Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Economic and Information Technology, without being identified.
The official didn’t specify what the projects were.
Chengdu recorded revenue last year of 4.1 billion yuan from industrial UAVs, ranking third nationwide, after Shenzhen and Beijing.
It is home to three listed industrial UAV firms, including JOUAV (纵横股份) and Avic UAS (中航成都无人机系统).
The city enjoys a head start in industrial UAV technologies and vows to build itself into China’s No.1 hub of industrial drone.
It faces some limitations though.
The city has opened a section of its airspace to industrial UAVs, allowing them to fly at an altitude of over 500m.
Chengdu plans to extend the space to 1,652 sqare km.
Despite the enlarged space, it still pales in comparison to the size of the airspace — 10,000 square km above 500m — set aside for UAV activities in the Pearl River Delta.
“Moving forward, we will strengthen the UAV sector and promote applications, in a bid to establish a strong industrial chain,” the aforementioned official was quoted as saying.