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Commercial drone market to hit 2.91 million units by 2023

written by Sandy Milne | April 9, 2020

US market research firm Frost & Sullivan has released a report suggesting that the drone industry is entering an exciting new stage of growth.

In recent years, the sector has surged as consumers and businesses continue to push the boundaries of commercial drone usage.

According to the Global Commercial UAS Market Outlook, 2020, the rate of units shipped per year is projected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5 per cent.

A white quadrocopter commercial drone. (Source: Shutterstock)

This will take these figures to an estimated 2.91 million units in 2023, up from the last year’s benchmark of 2.44 million.

The report also estimates that by 2023, the North American market share of commercial UAS will continue to be the world’s largest – with a projected count of 32.3 per cent unit demand. APAC and Europe trail at 29.1 per cent and 23.3 per cent, respectively.

“Unit growth is driven by increasing regulatory support for commercial drone use in the APAC region, especially India,” said Michael Blades, vice president of Frost & Sullivan’s aerospace, defence, and security department.

“There is also a significant increase in demand for professional segment drones to conduct crop spraying in China and other countries in APAC. Drone services companies tend to focus on specific verticals because a ‘one-size-fits-all’ business model does not work.

“Further, as companies gain experience through operations, those that can best innovate to meet specific end-user needs will prosper.”

Some of the more interesting points identified in the report include:

  • India’s move to lift a commercial drone ban;
  • Sensor/data fusion;
  • New drone platforms; and
  • The growing secondary service and maintenance market.


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