FAA Expects Drone Sales to Triple By 2020
Commercial sales will rise from 600,000 in 2012 to 2.7 million by then, its annual Aerospace Forecast Report for 2016-2036 shows.
The Federal Aviation Administration predicts sales of unmanned aircraft, otherwise known as drones, will soar from 2.5 million in 2016 to 7 million in 2020. According to the agency's annual Aerospace Forecast Report for fiscal years 2016-2036, hobbyist drone purchases are expected to grow from 1.9 million in 2016 to as many as 4.3 million by 2020 and sales for commercial purposes will rise from 600,000 in 2016 to 2.7 million by 2020.
On March 25, FAA also released an updated list of pilot, air traffic controller, and citizen reports of possible encounters with drones. This report covers Aug. 22, 2015 through Jan. 31, 2016. Reports of drone encounters have increased dramatically since 2014, according to the agency, which stated it wants to send a clear message that operating drones around airplanes and helicopters is dangerous and illegal.
"We have a number of educational initiatives with our government and industry partners to teach drone operators how to fly safely, including the drone registry we launched last December," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, "but enforcement goes hand in hand with education, and we will take action against anyone who operates irresponsibly to the full extent of the law."
FAA reported March 25 that more than 406,000 people have registered since the drone registry went live in late December 2015.