The Soaring Growth of Commercial Drones

750,000 to 17 million – that’s quite the differential. These two numbers reflect where the commercial drone market is today, and where it’s projected to be by 2029. Why are commercial drones rising so quickly in popularity? That’s what ConnecTEd World’s Tyler Kern wanted to know. Luckily for Kern, Catharina Atalaia Santos, a Field Application Engineer with TE Connectivity, was available to fill him in on all things commercial drones.

As to what is driving this growth, Santos said it was a multitude of factors. “They range from advanced development, a lot of research and financial support from venture capitalists going into the market to something as plain as regulations now allowing drone use in the world.”

A recent factor that Santos said was a catalyst for commercial drone growth is COVID-19. The benefits of drones and contactless delivery, not lost on the delivery industry, have positioned this technology as a transformative service innovation.

“Up until recently, people had drones for personal use as an exciting gadget to play around with,” Santos said. “With COVID, the general public became aware of the advantages, and, as a result, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also got on board, loosening up some restrictions and expediting some of the approvals needed to engage drones in more industrial applications.”

And, through the necessity of the pandemic and various lockdowns, drones made it possible for some people to perform their jobs remotely when it would have been impossible in the past. “Even something as specific as, for example, examining pipes in the energy sector,” Santos said. “That’s something you needed a person for, and then, throughout COVID, everybody was hoping to work from home. Those jobs are now able to be done via a drone.”

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