Despite regulatory issues in the US, drone market forecasts continue to be optimistic. A new report by the Teal Group predicts that civil drones will be “the most dynamic growth sector of the world aerospace industry this decade.”
Teal’s analysts unveiled the research at the Paris Air Show last week. “The civil drone market is ready to take off,” said Philip Finnegan, Teal Group’s director of corporate analysis and author of the study. “Eased airspace regulations, a flood of outside investment, new UAS service offerings and the entry of leading technology companies are setting the stage for very rapid growth.”
The report predicts that non-military drone production will reach $73.5 billion in the next decade, growing at a CAGR of 15.5%. “Commercial use will be the fastest growing civil segment rising more than twelvefold from $512 million in 2017 to $6.5 billion, ” says the report.
“The growing promise of the civil market is attracting the world’s leading technology companies, driving ever faster development of systems and business applications,” said Finnegan. Firms in traditional aerospace, data analysis, semiconductors, telecommunications are all driving aggressively into the market.
One interesting finding is Teal Group’s forecast that construction will lead the market, with agriculture – slower adopters of new technology – ranking second. “All 10 of the largest worldwide construction firms are deploying or experimenting with systems and will be able to quickly deploy fleets worldwide,” says the report. “The three largest construction equipment suppliers all have an agreement with a drone manufacturer to provide everything from off the shelf systems to full end-to-end service.”
Some key takeaways from the report:
- Low-cost, high-altitude, long endurance UAS for internet promise to create an entirely new segment of the market.
- Law enforcement, fire, border patrol, coast guard and other sectors described as “civil government UAS” represent a growing segment.
- Growth in consumer drones will continue, but has slowed.
- Ease of use will be a key to continued growth in consumer drones.
- Consumer drone manufacturers are shifting towards the commercial market.
- Defense contractors are also adjusting their development towards the commercial market.
While regulators move towards defining drone integration for the commercial drone industry, the numbers back them up – teh industry represents an ever increasing economic force.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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