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FAA predicts small drone purchases to reach 4.3 million by 2020

Staff writer |
The US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) annual report has revealed that the purchase of drones could increase from the current 1.9 million to around 4.3 million by 2020.

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The Aerospace Forecast Report Fiscal Years 2016 to 2036 has stated that there would also be a sustained increase in overall air travel and the use of drone in the country's airspace.

According to FAA estimates, the sales of drones for commercial purposes are expected to grow from 600,000 this year to 2.7 million by 2020.

The combined total hobbyist and commercial drone sales are projected to grow from this year's 2.5 million to seven million in 2020.

The FAA also stated in the report that predictions for small UAS used in the commercial fleet are difficult due to the dynamic nature of the market.

Estimates of sales and fleet size share some broad assumptions about operating limitations for small UAS during the next five years: daytime operations, within visual line of sight, and a single pilot flying only one small UAS at a time.

According to the agency's forecast, system revenue passenger miles (RPMs) by mainline and regional air carriers would grow at an average rate of 2.6% a year between this year and 2036, with international RPMs expected to grow 3.5% annually.

Domestic RPMs are estimated to grow by more than 50% over the same time.

Last year, system RPMs by US carriers increased from 857 billion to 889 billion, which is an increase of 3.8%.

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