Drone flying near city
The FAA thinks the drone market will grow three times the size it is now by 2023. Image courtesy Adam Savage's Tested.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration forecast for the next two decades, the commercial drone market could potentially triple between now and 2023.

The report comes through NextGov. It says that unmanned aircraft systems “have been experiencing healthy growth in the United States and around the world” in the last five years. The report does predict a spike in commercial drone sales. However, the report also predicts the market for non-commercial drones will slow.

The drone registration rates are growing fast

Looking at model drones, the FAA says as of December 31st, 2018, “more than 900,000 owners have registered” with the agency since it launched its online registration for drones back in 2015. Also, the FAA looked at trends for non-model drones. Those are commercially-focused devices. For this category, “the pace of monthly registration, almost 15,000, is nearly 3-times higher than the pace at which non-model aircraft owners registered their craft during the same time last year.”

It is expected the registration rate will top 44 percent over last year’s figures by 2023. That means the market will have tripled in size. That is about 823,000 more drones. If the numbers reach this height, it will have surpassed that administration’s estimate for 2022 from last year’s report.

The growing commercial drone market will cause some issues

The FAA does expect though this growth will cause some problems. Currently, we are seeing a number of cases involving drones interfering with commercial airline flights. Also, there will be many amateur and professional pilots sharing the same airspace.

Despite this, the FAA report predicts drones will “become operationally more efficient and safe, battery life expands, and integration continues, new business models will begin to develop,” business models like new delivery or medical services. So while there are issues that come with the growing market, there are some potential benefits as well.

Image courtesy Adam Savage’s Tested