The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn’t see the drone industry slowing down anytime soon. The organization released its Aerospace Forecast Report Fiscal Years 2017 to 2037 to project the growth of air transportation in the coming years. With the recent interest in drones, the forecast features a new portion focused on drones.
According to the FAA, hobbyist drones will triple in size from 1.1 million vehicles to 3.5 million by 2021. For commercial drones, the FAA predicts the industry to grow from 42,000 vehicles to 442,000 by 2021, with the possibility of 1.6 million drones in use by then.
In addition, drone pilots are expected to increase from 20,000 to a range of 10 to 20 times by 2021, the FAA states.
“A UAS is the unmanned aircraft (UA) and its associated elements (including communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft) that are required for the safe and efficient operation of the unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System (NAS),” the FAA wrote in the forecast. “This forecast is primarily driven by the ongoing evolution of the UAS regulatory environment, the ingenuity of manufacturers and operators, and underlying demand. While continuing to enable the thriving UAS industry, these efforts will facilitate the safe integration of UAS into the NAS.”
The FAA notes predictions are harder to develop for the drone industry because of the ever-evolving market.