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article imageFAA says commercial market for drones may triple in size by 2023

By Ken Hanly     May 5, 2019 in Technology
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released its forecast for the next 20 years between now and 2039. Among the highlights is that the commercial market for drones is growing much faster than thought and could triple between now and 2023.
The report notes that the market for non-commercial drones seems to be slowing down.
The FAA report covers domestic and international airline markets, cargo air traffic space traffic, and drones. The large growth in unmanned aircraft systems has caused problems as it includes everything from amateur pilots to professional rigs that share the same airspace with larger manned aircraft. Several airports have been closed down for a time after drones were detected.
Model drones
Owners of such drones must register. The FAA reports that more than 900,000 owners have registered since registration was mandated in 2015. However there are many more individual model drones about 1.25 million since individual models do not need to be registered. The FAA thinks that in the next five years the markets will slow.
Commercial focused drones
Each commercial drone needs to be registered. The FAA notes that almost 15,000 commercial drones are registered each month this year almost three times the pace of registration last year during the same period. By the end of 2018 more than 27,000 commercial drones had been registered. The FAA expects this growth to continue.
The FAA expects the registration rate this year to be more than 44 percent over those of last year. By the year 2023 it predicts their will be an estimated 823,000 commercial drones flying. The FAA pointed out that the number of commercial drones flying late this year or early next will be more than the FAA estimates for 2022 in their report last year.
New uses being found for commercial drones
Large companies such as Amazon, Google, Walmart, and even 7-Eleven have been thinking about or have actually experimented with deliveries via drones. The report notes that as commercial drones become more efficient and safe, and their battery life grows, more companies will adopt them. They can be used in operations such as search and rescue.
A recent example of news uses is the transport of a kidney to a Baltimore hospital as reported by NBC news: "In the wee hours of April 19, a custom-made drone roughly the size of a washing machine lifted off from a neighborhood in southwestern Baltimore and whisked a human kidney to a nearby hospital, where a team of surgeons successfully transplanted the organ into a critically ill patient.The 2.8-mile, 10-minute drone flight was the first in the world to deliver an organ — but it almost certainly won't be the last."
UPS is also using a medical drone delivery service as shown on the appended video.
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