Will Future FAA Rules Kill The Small Drones Market?

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Will Future FAA Rules Kill The Small Drones Market?

I just released the findings of my two-month survey studying the impact of FAA rules on small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) in the U.S. You can read the press release here.

Among the many insights I got from the research, these two are the most significant:

  1. Unfavorable rules will disintegrate an already fragile market for sUAS in the U.S.
  2. Significant market growth awaits once FAA regulations allow.

“Impact of FAA Rules on sUAS Business” examines the economic impact of current FAA policies for sUAS operating in Class G uncontrolled airspace. It evaluates how commercial service providers and operators perceive those rules and assess their importance.

Since 2007, the FAA has attempted to prohibit commercial use of sUAS in the U.S. through a series of statements and policies aimed at controlling activity until actual regulations are put in place. The Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 authorizes the FAA to issue licenses for commercial drone use in the U.S. The FAA modernization law was widely expected to result in tens of thousands of commercial drones being licensed to fly over U.S. airspace. So far, however, it has produced only uncertainty: a combined 71% of participants in the survey say current rules are unclear and indicated confusion around conditions under which it is currently legal to operate sUAS for commercial purposes in the U.S. In fact, when offered 12 possibilities for conditions conducive to legal sUAS operation, the third most-checked condition was “the FAA does not regulate Class G air space.”

This research investigates the potential economic impact of both favorable and unfavorable future regulations, including revenue growth forecasts and hiring plans. Participants clearly identified five types of FAA regulations that would be unfavorable for their businesses, with 61% indicating they would simply not start or shutter their existing business operations if those unfavorable FAA regulations were in place.

In light of those findings, I conclude the overall market for sUAS in the U.S. would disintegrate if unfavorable regulations come into being. All the positive economic impacts like revenue, job creation, and tax base creation—not to mention the practical benefits of U.S.-based drone business services—would not be realized.

To get a copy of the research visit this page: http://droneanalyst.com/research/purchase/.

And, if you have questions and would like to discuss one-on-one, email me at colin@droneanalyst.com

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6 Comments

  1. […] blogosphere, and AUVSI reports correct? I have some serious doubt. Here’s why:  The numbers from my recent study on the impact of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules on the small UAS business say aerial […]

  2. […] and AUVSI reports correct? I have some serious doubt. Here’s why:  The numbers from my recent study on the impact of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules on the small UAS business say aerial […]

  3. […] See full story on droneanalyst.com […]

  4. […] about whether commercial drone operations for agriculture will ever happen. As I have written here, if regulations are too strict, this market will collapse. Some regulations on these types of small […]

  5. […] Analyst has just released a study evaluating the results of an industry survey on the impact of FAA rules on small unmanned aerial […]

  6. […] about whether commercial drone operations for agriculture will ever happen. As I have written here, if regulations are too strict, this market will collapse. Some regulations on these types of small […]

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