An estimated seven million drones will fly in US skies by 2020, nearly tripling the number expected to be in circulation by the end of the year, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
“Unmanned aircraft systems will be the most dynamic growth sector within aviation,” the agency said in a report, which forecast that some 2.5 drones million will be in use by the end of 2016.
How the civilian drone market evolves, however, will depend on future security and regulatory measures put in place by the US government, the FAA said, emphasizing that “unprecedented milestones” were already set in 2015.
In December of last year, the FAA released rules requiring registration of small unmanned aircraft weighing more than 250 grams (0.55 pounds) and less than 25 kilograms (55 pounds), including payloads such as on-board cameras.
â€œThis registration rule will aid in investigations and allow the FAA to gather data,â€ the agency said in its report.
The number of hobby drones is expected to climb from 1.9 million in 2016 to 4.3 million in 2020, while commercial drones are predicted to soar from 600,000 to 2.7 million.
However, the FAA added that predictions for commercial drones “are more difficult to develop given the dynamic, quickly-evolving nature of the market.”
The FAA will publish final regulations regarding drone use within the next few months, it said.
The agency worked with Teal Group, a drone industry expert, to better understand the market for unmanned aircraft systems.
An estimated 90 percent of the drone fleet in 2020 will cost an average of US$2,500. The most expensive models may reach US$40,000.
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, as an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), and also referred byseveral other names, is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. The flight of UAVs may be controlled with various kinds of autonomy : either by a given degree of remote control from an operator, located on the ground or in another vehicle, or fully autonomously, by onboard computers.
The FAA is primarily responsible for the advancement, safety and regulation of civil aviation, as well as overseeing the development of the air traffic control system and commercial space travel.
According to Wikipedia, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the national aviation authority of the United States. As an agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of American civil aviation. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 created the organization under the name Federal Aviation Agency. The agency adopted its current name in 1966 when it became a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The FAA issues a number of awards to holders of its licenses. Among these are demonstrated proficiencies as an aviation mechanic, a flight instructor, a 50-year aviator, or as a safe pilot. The latter, the FAA “Wings Program”, provides a series of three badges for pilots who have undergone several hours of training since their last award.