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News & Notes

FAA Releases Annual Aerospace Forecast

Number of drones in NAS expected to triple by 2020

March 25, 2016

The FAA estimates that by 2020, the number of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in the national airspace will triple. In its annual aerospace forecast report, the FAA says within the next five years, there will be about 7 million drones ready to take to U.S. skies.
Federal Aviation Administration
According to the report, “The forecast will be driven by a combination of an improved regulatory environment and underlying demand. In 2015, unprecedented milestones were achieved for UAS. The FAA is continuing to enable this new thriving industry to flourish while maintaining safety.”

Additionally, the report estimated the top five U.S. markets for sUAS to be industrial inspection (42%), agriculture (19%), insurance (15%), real estate/aerial photography (22%), and government (2%). This provides an interesting contrast to the current uses of drones in the U.S., as reported by The Center for the Study of the Drone.

The regulatory environment established by the FAA in the coming years will likely play a major role on the progress of sUAS integration. Read more on the current status of drone legislation here.
Featured image: thinkstock.com