Commercial applications for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are numerous and use is expanding relatively quickly. As the market matures, incumbent and new to market original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) continue to develop more capable platforms, platforms for specific use cases, and platforms for niche markets. This research separates the global commercial UAS market into manageable application and platform segments then provides a market forecast for UAS platforms by region. The commercial UAS ecosystem continues to grow, but technology adoption and proof of substantial return on investment (ROI) from integrating drones is occurring at a slower rate than proponents had hoped for and market hype had supported. In time, drones will become ubiquitous but the rate of adoption will continue to be restricted by poor engagement by legislative entities and the limited ability and/or framework to enforce rules surrounding drone use for commercial purposes. The goal of this report is to provide accurate estimates of commercial UAS platform demand based on as much empirical data as could be gathered while considering tangible drivers and restraints that will form future trends.

Research Scope

The total commercial UAS market size is based on calculations derived from derived from cataloguing over 2,500 companies approved to operate over 7,000 commercial drones in the US, UK, France, Ireland, and Australia.  These initial distributions and estimates were adjusted using several inputs including survey results, information from primary interviews of industry participants, and current and forecast sales trends. Estimates and competitive landscape information includes:

  • Factors driving demand for commercial drone products and services
  • Factors restraining demand for commercial UAS products and services
  • Commercial drone market trends
  • Leading commercial UAS manufacturers and the demand distribution for commercial drone platform segments in each global region
  • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) evaluations of the leading companies in the market
  • Perspectives on various market issues that provide insights for executive level decision-making

Key Issues Addressed

  • Is the market for commercial UAS growing, how long will it continue to grow, and at what rate will it grow?
  • What segments, programs, and services make up the commercial drone market?
  • What are the most significant drivers, restraints, and trends?
  • What companies are leading the commercial UAS market and in which segments?
  • What technologies will be emphasized as the market continues to mature?

Key Conclusion

This study also contains an evaluation of significant growth opportunities within commercial drone market based on trends and supported by a collection of market insights. Strategic imperatives, for executives to consider when deciding whether to act on the listed growth opportunities, are highlighted as well. Finally, a list of small, innovative companies is provided for those growth clients that are interested in mergers and acquisitions to strengthen their position in the current commercial drone ecosystem.