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  • Published In : Mar 2024
  • Code : CMI6707
  • Pages :155
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Smart Technologies

Market Size and Trends

The Commercial Drones Market is estimated to be valued at USD 22.29 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 54.11 Bn by 2031, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5% from 2024 to 2031.

Commercial Drones Market Key Factors

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The market growth is majorly driven by the increasing adoption of drones in various industries like agriculture, construction, energy & utilities, logistics, and more. Drones help monitor crops and enable precision agriculture, monitor progress of construction projects, and inspect energy infrastructure like power lines & wind turbines easily which is otherwise difficult and hazardous. This has fueled the growth of the commercial drones market across major regions.

The market is expected to witness high demand owing to the increasing investments by leading technology companies in drones and widespread integration of drones in various applications. Furthermore, rapid advancements in drone hardware, software, and technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, etc. are supporting new use cases and thereby driving more opportunities. However, concerns around drone regulations and privacy can hamper the growth during the forecast period.

 Rising Adoption for Construction Surveying

The construction industry has always relied on conventional methods for surveying buildings, structures, and large construction sites. Projects often involved human surveyors manually documenting dimensions, heights, contours, and other site specifications using traditional tools like measuring tapes, theodolites, and GPS receivers. However, this process was time-consuming, labor-intensive, and posed safety risks to surveyors working at heights or in difficult terrains. Drones have the potential to revolutionize construction surveying by automating much of the data collection process and improving both efficiency and safety. Compared to traditional methods, commercial drones equipped with advanced cameras and sensors can survey large areas much faster while offering bird's-eye perspectives not possible otherwise. They allow collection of high-resolution imagery, 3D models, contour maps and other geospatial data to support various stages of construction from planning and design to progress monitoring. Drones minimize the need for human surveyors to work at dangerous heights or enter confined spaces on site. Their ability to rapidly survey inaccessible areas makes them especially useful for projects involving assets in remote locations or difficult terrains. Many construction companies have already recognized these benefits and are increasingly adopting drone technology for surveying existing structures as well as monitoring ongoing projects. As construction projects grow in scale and complexity worldwide, commercial drones have the potential to significantly boost productivity and safety standards in the surveying process across the industry.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

Commercial Drones Market Concentration By Players

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Increasing Demand for Agricultural Monitoring

Agriculture has always relied on manual field monitoring methods to inspect crops, analyze soil conditions and identify pests or diseases. Farmers and agronomists would physically walk through fields to gather this vital information, which is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. Commercial drones have the ability to revolutionize agricultural monitoring by automating data collection and enabling remote inspection of vast crop areas. Equipped with optical and thermal cameras, drones can capture high-resolution aerial images and videos of entire fields. Sophisticated analytics tools then process this visual data to monitor crop health, detect issues like infestations, estimate yields and more. Drones eliminate the need for physical scouting and allow farmers to continuously monitor scattered or remote farmlands from the comfort of their office. They prove especially useful for large-scale, commercial farming operations. By rapidly collecting imagery over broad regions, drones give agronomists a bird's-eye view of entire properties to identify issues early.

Commercial Drones Market Key Takeaways From Lead Analyst

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Market Challenges:Strict Regulations Imposed by Aviation Authorities

The commercial drones market faces several challenges. Strict regulations imposed by aviation authorities around the world limit the commercial use of drones. As drones get more autonomous, privacy and security concerns also rise. Due to their small size, drones can potentially be hijacked or mistaken as threats. Lack of advanced safety and collision avoidance technologies also hamper their integration into commercial operations involving sensitive infrastructure and crowded areas. Ensuring reliable operation over longer ranges and payload capacity aligned to use cases remains challenging.

Market Opportunities: Rising Adoption in Agriculture and Surveillance Applications

Drones can enable cost-effective inspection of critical assets like oil and gas pipelines, cellular towers, and wind turbines. Their deployment can streamline agriculture, photography, filmmaking, delivery, and surveillance applications. Emerging technologies in artificial intelligence, computer vision, and edge computing are improving drone autonomy.

Commercial Drones Market By Type

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Insights, by Type - Technological Advancements Fuel Fixed Wing Drone Adoption

Fixed Wing Drone segment is estimated to hold the highest share of 65.7% in 2024 in the market owing to rapid technological advancements. Fixed wing drones have seen significant improvements in endurance, payload capacity, and flight autonomy capabilities. The integration of advanced sensors, cameras, and computers has enhanced their range of applications. In particular, fixes wing drones are often preferred for applications requiring long flight times such as border surveillance, wildlife monitoring, and infrastructure inspection. Their high-efficiency wing design allows them to achieve superior flight duration compared to other drone categories. Furthermore, fixed wing drones have larger and stronger airframes that comfortably accommodate a wide variety of payloads without sacrificing flight time. Several builds now last over 24 hours on a single charge.

Insights, by Maximum Takeoff Weight - Heavier Payloads Drive Demand for More than 5KG Drones

More than 5KG segment is estimated to contribute the highest share of 64.4% in 2024 in the market, as it caters to applications requiring heavier payloads. Drones weighing above 5KG can carry sophisticated sensors, surveying equipment, cinema-grade cameras, and other necessities for industries like precision agriculture, cinematography, and structural inspections. Their robust design and powerful motors allow lifting and manipulating payloads weighing 5KG or more. Additionally, these heavy-duty drones come with features like redundant systems, advanced stability, and navigation controls for safer flights even with heavy loads. Their increased lift also permits operating under harsh weather conditions. These qualities make more than 5KG drones uniquely positioned as workhorses for industries with heavy sensor or equipment requirements.

Insights, by Application - Aerial Photography Dominates Commercial Drone Application

Aerial Photography segment is estimated to contribute the highest share of 38.2% in 2024 in the market. Commercial drones have revolutionized the aerial photography sector by providing easy, safe, and cost-effective solutions. Drone-based photography is rapidly replacing traditional techniques using helicopters, aircraft, and cranes. It allows high-resolution images and videos from different angles, terrains, and locations that were previously impossible. As a result, aerial photography is finding widespread usage in real estate, filmmaking, event coverage, architecture, and more. The ability to accurately capture landscapes, buildings, mining sites, and other properties helps industries with inspection, mapping, and marketing needs. Drones also give aerial photographers an edge over competitors by providing unique perspectives. Their nimbleness, fine camera controls, and stabilization features enable sharp imagery even for fast-moving objects. This has cemented aerial photography as the leading application domain.

Regional Insights

Commercial Drones Market Regional Insights

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North America has firmly established itself as the dominant region in the global commercial drones market and is estimated to hold the market share of 37.4% in 2024. The early adoption of commercial drones by various industries such as agriculture, insurance, construction and filmmaking has given North American companies a significant headstart over others. A highly developed manufacturing base and major presence of industry giants like DJI has cemented North America's position as the leader in commercial drone technology and UAV applications. The region is also aggressively investing in research around drone AI, sensors and autonomous flights which will drive further innovation in commercial applications.

However, Asia Pacific is emerging as the fastest growing regional market. Countries like China, Japan and South Korea are aggressively promoting commercial drones with support from their governments. China, in particular, has ambitions of becoming a global leader in this sector and is offering favorable policies to both local manufacturers as well as foreign players looking to tap into its massive market potential. Coupled with lower manufacturing and labor costs compared to developed markets, Asia Pacific offers an attractive value proposition for commercial drone OEMs and technology providers. Rising disposable incomes are also fueling demand for innovative commercial drone applications across industries in the region.

While North America still leads in high-end commercial drones, Asia Pacific companies have proven expertise in low-cost commercial drones. They are swiftly scaling up capabilities and challenging the dominance of North American players across price points. Expanding export opportunities for Asian commercial drones indicate their growing acceptance globally. Both hardware as well as software capabilities of Asia Pacific players are consistently improving. If the existing growth momentum continues, Asia Pacific looks well-positioned to eat into North America's market share in the coming years. This could make the commercial drones race an intense battle between players from these two heavyweight regions.

Market Report Scope

Commercial Drones Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 22.29 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 13.5% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 54.11 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, and Rest of Middle East & Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Type: Fixed Wing Drone, Rotary Blade Drone, and Hybrid Drone 
  • By Maximum Takeoff Weight : Less than 2 KG, Between 2–5 KG, and More than 5 KG 
  • By Duration : Less than 30 Min and More than 30 Min 
  • By Range: Short (<25 Kilometers) and Long (25 Kilometers)
  • By Application : Aerial Photography, Agriculture, Emergency and Disaster Management, Inspection & Monitoring, Remote Sensing & Mapping, and Wildlife Research & Preservation 
Companies covered:

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman., The Boeing Company, BAE Systems PLC, Airbus S.A.S., FLIR Systems, Inc., Aero Vironment, Inc., Textron Inc., Aeryon Labs Inc., General Atomics, Thales, Quantum Systems, Elistair, Delair, DJI, Ehang, The Holospace, Korea Aerospace Industries, Hanwha Aerospace, Israel Aerospace Industries, Elbit Systems Ltd., and Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd.

Growth Drivers:
  • Rising Adoption for Construction Surveying 
  • Increasing Demand for Agricultural Monitoring 
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Strict Regulations Imposed by Aviation Authorities
  • Safety and Security Concerns

Key Developments

  • In December 2020, AeroVironment, Inc., a US-based drone manufacturer, acquired Germany-based ground robotic solutions company Telerob Gesellschaft für Fernhantierungstechnik mbH. This acquisition contributes to strengthening the presence of the company in the Germany, thereby increasing market share of the company in the Europe region.
  • In January 2021, AeroVironment, Inc. acquired Arcturus UAV, a privately-held manufacturer of Group 2 and 3 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and services company for a total purchase price of US$ 405 million. Furthermore, this acquisition contributed in strengthening the position of AeroVironment in the North America market.
  • In April 2020, an Australia based company, Orbital Corporation, signed a deal with Northrop Grumman Corporation, a manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles, to develop a hybrid propulsion system for a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
  • *Definition: The commercial drones market comprises enterprises that manufacture, distribute, and deploy drones for various commercial applications such as precision agriculture, infrastructure inspection, product delivery, media and entertainment, construction, energy and utility, and others. Drones offered in this market come equipped with features like high-resolution cameras, thermal sensing capabilities, cargo delivery mechanisms, and sturdy wings or rotors to enable capturing aerial images, surveying land and infrastructure, transporting goods, and more for commercial and industrial uses.

Market Segmentation

  • Type Insights (Revenue, USD BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Fixed Wing Drone
    • Rotary Blade Drone
    • Hybrid Drone
  •  Maximum Takeoff Weight Insights (Revenue, USD BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Less than 2 KG
    • Between 2–5 KG
    • More than 5 KG
  •  Duration Insights (Revenue, USD BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Less than 30 Min
    • More than 30 Min
  •  Range Insights (Revenue, USD BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Short (<25 Kilometers)
    • Long (25 Kilometers)
  •  Application Insights (Revenue, USD BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • Aerial Photography
    • Agriculture
    • Emergency and Disaster Management
    • Inspection & Monitoring
    • Remote Sensing & Mapping
    • Wildlife Research & Preservation
  • Regional Insights (Revenue, USD BN, 2019 - 2031)
    • North America
      •    U.S.
      •    Canada
    • Latin America
      •    Brazil
      •    Argentina
      •    Mexico
      •    Rest of Latin America
    • Europe
      •    Germany
      •    U.K.
      •    Spain
      •    France
      •    Italy
      •    Russia
      •    Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      •    China
      •    India
      •    Japan
      •    Australia
      •    South Korea
      •    ASEAN
      •    Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa
      •    GCC Countries
      •    Israel
      •    Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Key Players Insights
    • Lockheed Martin Corporation
    • Northrop Grumman.
    • The Boeing Company
    • BAE Systems PLC
    • Airbus S.A.S.
    • FLIR Systems, Inc.
    • Aero Vironment, Inc.
    • Textron Inc.
    • Aeryon Labs Inc.
    • General Atomics
    • Thales
    • Quantum Systems
    • Elistair
    • Delair
    • DJI
    • Ehang
    • The Holospace
    • Korea Aerospace Industries
    • Hanwha Aerospace
    • Israel Aerospace Industries
    • Elbit Systems Ltd.
    • Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd.

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of the commercial drones market is projected to be 13.5% from 2024 to 2031.

Rising adoption for construction surveying and increasing demand for agricultural monitoring are the major factors driving the growth of the commercial drones market.

Strict regulations imposed by aviation authorities and safety and security concerns are the major factors hampering the growth of commercial drones market.

In terms of Type, Fixed Wing Drone is estimated to dominate the market revenue share 2024.

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman., The Boeing Company, BAE Systems PLC, Airbus S.A.S., FLIR Systems, Inc., Aero Vironment, Inc., Textron Inc., Aeryon Labs Inc., General Atomics, Israel Aerospace Industries, Elbit Systems Ltd., and Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd. are the major players.

North America is expected to lead the commercial drones market.

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