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Commercial drone market to be worth over $15bn

Written by NTN staff
11/01/19

The growing market for commercial UAS (unmanned aerial systems) platforms and associated services will grow to over $15.1 billion by 2027, driven by various sectors, but this will require the right regulation, according to a new report.

Drones have had a bad press in the UK recently, due in large part to the travel disruption caused at major London airports. In the long term however, they promise to bring many benefits across different industries if the right conditions are met, says a new report.

The growing market for commercial UAS (unmanned aerial systems) platforms and associated services will be led by demand from the agriculture, commercial security and first responder sectors, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics. These sectors are estimated to account for close to 49% of demand for commercial UAS platforms by 2027. The growth will also come from also delivery services, media/entertainment and other industries.

The analyst firm forecasts the commercial UAS market will grow to over $15.1 billion by 2027. However, this growth is contingent upon the establishment of favourable regulatory frameworks.

Globally, the market for commercial UAS platforms and associated services will be driven by the European, Asia-Pacific and North America regions and could together account for over 83% of global demand by 2027.

To achieve mass adoption of commercial UAS platforms across government and enterprises, that potential will be “almost singularly contingent upon the establishment of favourable regulatory frameworks,” says Asif Anwar, Director of the ADS service .

Existing regulations that currently underpin the use of UAS platforms will need to evolve and expand, he argues, especially as drone usage enables applications that require sharing of civilian airspace as well as the ground infrastructure currently used exclusively by manned aircraft.

As capabilities expand, so will the extent to which UAS platforms move towards operation in civilian airspace. Integration of commercial UAS operations into civilian airspace will need to address several technical challenges which will include the man machine interface (MMI), Communications and Control Minimum Operating Performance Standards (C2 MOPS) and Sense-and-avoid (SAA) or detect-and-avoid (DAA) systems.