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Unmanned Systems & Drones

The drone market sets its course for commercial business

A forecast of the Federal Aviation Administration shows that sales of unmanned flying devices will most likely soon move on from just targeting private hobby fliers to professional users.

03 Apr. 2017
Drohnenmarkt nimmt Kurs auf Business
Total Non-Hobbyist (Commercial) Fleet (Graphic: FAA)

The US Federal Aviation Administration has released figures for the expected rise of drones in the US . According to it, there will still be strong growth in the market of hobby drones weighing between 250 g and 25 kg, which will increase the number from currently 1.1 million to 2.15 million this year. But the FAA expects that interest in such flying devices will decrease in the coming years and the number of new acquisitions will significantly fall year after year. According to estimates by the authorities, around 3.55 million privately used drones will be sold in the US by the end of the 2021.

However, the number of commercially used drones is expected to explode. Just 42,000 such flying devices were in use by the end of 2016. In 2017, this number will already more than double to 108,000, by 2021, the FAA expects a tenfold increase to 422,000 drones. According to the authority in the United States, commercially used drones are currently mainly utilized for aerial photography, such as in construction projects and inspections, real estate, and agriculture. 95% of these commercial drones are the same models which are being used by hobby users, according to FAA.