After a boost in commercial drone registration in 2018, the Federal aviation administration has released its forecast for the next two decades, which expects the market to be expanded by 2023, according to the NextGov. While the non-commercial market for drones appears to go down, FAA caught off when commercial drone operators registered over 175,000 drones in 2018.

It shows that they dramatically underestimated how popular the technology would become. The NextGov wrote the surge in the drones forced them to revise their numbers:

Last year alone, commercial drone operators registered more than 175,000 new aircraft with the FAA, increasing the total number of commercial drones in use across the U.S. by more than 170 percent, according to the administration’s annual aerospace forecast. The surge in registrations, which expanded the commercial drone market to 277,000 units, “far exceed[ed]” the 44 percent growth officials predicted at the beginning of the year.

The report also coves a broad view of the aviation field including the domestic US and international airline markets, cargo air traffic, space traffic, and drones. It explains that the unmanned aircraft’s system has been experiencing growth in the US and all over the world in the last five years. One thing to be noted the increase has caused some problems because it surrounds everything from amateur pilots to professional rigs sharing the same airspace with their larger, crewed counterparts.

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The reports also cater trends when it comes to the non-model drones which each device must be registered for. The administration said that at the end of 2018 almost 27,000 non-model drones have been registered.

“the pace of monthly registration, almost 15,000, is nearly 3-times higher than the pace at which non-model aircraft owners registered their craft during the same time last year, wrote in the report.

The market for model drones appears to be going downwards whereas the market for commercial aircraft is accelerating, and the FAA wanted this growth to continue. The registration rate will go to 44 percent over last year’s figure and it anticipates the market will have tripled in size, with an estimated 823,000 drones flying at that time. The reports note that the number of commercial drones flying by this year will surpass the administration’s estimates for 2022 from last year’s report.


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