New FAA report predicts "explosive growth" of UAVs

A new report from the US FAA predicts that UAVs will be "the most dynamic sector in aviation". From the press release:

A key portion of the forecast focuses on projections for the growth in the use of unmanned aircraft, also known as drones. The FAA estimates small, hobbyist UAS purchases may grow from 1.9 million in 2016 to as many as 4.3 million by 2020.  Sales of UAS for commercial purposes are expected to grow from 600,000 in 2016 to 2.7 million by 2020.  Combined total hobbyist and commercial UAS sales are expected to rise from 2.5 million in 2016 to 7 million in 2020.

Predictions for small UAS used in the commercial fleet are more difficult to develop given the dynamic, quickly-evolving nature of the market. Both sales and fleet size estimates share certain broad assumptions about operating limitations for small UAS during the next five years: daytime operations, within visual line of sight, and a single pilot operating only one small UAS at a time.  The main difference in the high and low end of the forecasts is differing views on how those limitations will influence the widespread use of UAS for commercial purposes.

(I only wish they knew how to make a stacked bar graph -- see the abomination at top)

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Comment by Digital Wings on March 27, 2016 at 7:49am
Many control towers in the US still use blocks if wood to control aitcraft. They will need to cut down a lot more trees to cope with this growth. https://kodaemkodaem.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/20130808-211637.jpg
Comment by Nikola Rabchevsky on March 27, 2016 at 8:39am

The Navy uses nuts, bolts, and washers on a table to show where aircraft are and their status on aircraft carriers.  It always works.

That aside, 35 million dollars in registration fees is a nice chunk of change.

Comment by Darius Jack on March 27, 2016 at 4:59pm

Exactly,

if you lower drone weight subject to registration from 250g to 100g

so you can grow from 32,000 registered small UAVs to 100,000 registered small UAVs

this 2016.

For real, drone markets are fully saturated with $100- $200 mini drones

and what is hot today is Hoverboard, exempted from registration and plating.

Latest pending Senate drone legislation may cut interest in commercial, professional drones by half, doubling the prices due to lenghty licencing process, subject to

Drone Certified - drone manufacturers, drone part manufacturers, removing cheap

Not certified drone part offers from the Internet.

DJI and drone businesses built around DJI in China, Asia, can deliver 100M personal drone toys to any part of the globem if there is demand proven.

Today, I would invest all the money in

self-driving electric cars

since technology to control electric cars remotely has been lab tested for years

today you can sell 1M self-driving tractors (global demand)

1M self-driving electric buses, trucks (global demand)

ROI in self-driven cars jumped to 100% p.a.

Self-driven electric cars meet safety standards, zero-emission standards set by EPA, UN agencies, UNFCCC, EU Commission.

Technology developed to build and control personal and commercial, industrial UAVs

can be easily adopted in motor industry to build and sell 1M self-driven intelligent electric cars p.a.

So developers from DIYDrones can build their future in motor industry, providing expertize as certified drone aircraft developers - engineers with proven CV track.

Comment by Craig Issod on March 27, 2016 at 6:52pm

Once again it seems they are counting those batches of $13. Eachine starter quadcopters I buy and give away to my students at drone camp. 

Downright silly.....that the FAA should care how many indoor plastic toys are sold. 

They really do need to classify these things using something beside weight - perhaps not even count - in any way - those under X grams (80?) and then only classify 80-250 gram models if they have GPS and other autonomous features. 

Quite a chuckle that government reports showing an airliner on the cover then address a $13 Chinese toy. 

Comment by Paul on March 28, 2016 at 9:42am

hope no more doing a business plan or relying on these numbers 

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