The global commercial drones market size reached US$ 20.7 Billion in 2022. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 84.3 Billion by 2028, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 25.9% during 2023-2028. The increasing use of commercial drones in the logistics sector to reduce delivery times and labor costs, widespread adoption of commercial drones in the agriculture sector, and integration of advanced technologies are some of the major factors propelling the market.
|Market Size in 2022
||US$ 20.7 Billion
|Market Forecast in 2028
||US$ 84.3 Billion
|Market Growth Rate (2023-2028)
A commercial drone, also known as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS), refers to an aircraft flying without a human pilot on board. It is equipped with advanced technology, including sensors, cameras, and global positioning systems (GPS), which enables it to perform a wide range of tasks. It can capture high-resolution images and videos from various angles, providing valuable insights for surveying landscapes, monitoring infrastructure, and assessing crop health. It also tracks changes in ecosystems and monitors natural disasters without putting humans at risk. Besides this, it can be used to transport small packages quickly and cost-effectively.
The increasing use of commercial drones with high-resolution cameras in the film, television, and advertising industries to capture stunning aerial photographs and videos is strengthening the growth of the market. Additionally, the rising farming activities and the widespread adoption of commercial drones in the agriculture sector for crop monitoring, field mapping, and precision agriculture to collect data on plant health, soil conditions, and crop yield are contributing to the market growth. It also enables farmers to make informed decisions about irrigation, fertilization, and pest control. Besides this, the growing adoption of commercial drones for search and rescue operations to locate missing persons in difficult terrains or areas with limited accessibility is influencing the market positively.
Commercial Drones Market Trends/Drivers:
Increase in cost efficiency and speed
One of the major factors driving the demand for commercial drones is their ability to carry out tasks more cost-effectively and swiftly compared to traditional methods. For instance, in agriculture, drones can quickly and efficiently monitor large fields, providing critical data on crop health, irrigation needs, and pest pressures. Similarly, the increasing use of commercial drones in the logistics sector helps reduce delivery times and labor costs, which is driving its demand across the globe. Apart from this, the leading companies are exploring drone delivery to expedite shipping, particularly for small and time-sensitive packages. Furthermore, the rising utilization of commercial drones aids in cost savings and enhances operational efficiency and productivity.
Rise in regulatory support
The governing authorities and regulatory bodies of various countries are developing guidelines that allow for commercial drone activities and ensure public safety and privacy. Regulatory guidelines promote safety by outlining protocols for drone operations, mitigating potential risks and accidents, which, in turn, increases public and operator confidence. Additionally, the regulatory bodies are promoting uniformity in drone operations, reducing confusion and complexities across different jurisdictions, and facilitating seamless cross-border activities. Apart from this, the implementation of several strict regulations ensures that drones are used respecting the privacy of individuals, minimizing safety concerns and potential legal issues, thus fostering a positive public perception.
Growing safety measures
The increasing number of cases of workplace injuries is driving the demand for commercial drones across public and private organizations to reduce human labor and ensure worker safety. Additionally, the rising adoption of commercial drones in various industries like mining, construction, and energy to perform dangerous tasks that put human lives at risk is positively influencing the market. For example, drones can safely inspect high-voltage power lines and unstable structures and can enter hazardous environments to collect data. Apart from this, by mitigating safety concerns, drones make it easier for companies to carry out essential operations without compromising employee well-being.
Commercial Drones Industry Segmentation:
IMARC Group provides an analysis of the key trends in each segment of the global commercial drones market report, along with forecasts at the global, regional and country levels from 2023-2028. Our report has categorized the market based on weight, system, product, mode of operation, application and end use.
Breakup by Weight:
- <2 Kg
- 2 Kg-25 Kg
- 25 Kg-150 Kg
<2 kg dominates the market
The report has provided a detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the weight. This includes <2 Kg, 2 Kg-25 Kg, and 25 Kg-150 Kg. According to the report, <2kg commercial drones represented the largest segment due to their compact size and lightweight nature, which makes them more maneuverable and versatile and enables navigation through complex environments to capture data with precision. Additionally, drones under 2kg often fall within less stringent regulations in many regions, resulting in easier and more flexible deployment for businesses. They require less complex licensing and permits, thereby reducing operational barriers. Apart from this, advancements in technology are leading to the development of powerful yet lightweight components, enhancing the capabilities of these drones. They can carry sophisticated sensors and cameras while maintaining extended flight times. Furthermore, the cost-effectiveness of smaller drones makes them accessible to a wider range of businesses.
Breakup by System:
- Propulsion System
Hardware holds the largest market share
A detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the system has also been provided in the report. This includes hardware (airframe, propulsion system, payloads, and others) and software. According to the report, hardware accounts for the majority of the market share as it enables advanced capabilities and ensures reliable performance. Additionally, drones rely on physical components, such as sensors, processors, motors, and batteries to function effectively. These hardware elements directly influence flight stability, maneuverability, payload capacity, and overall operational efficiency. Apart from this, in the commercial sector, drones are deployed for various applications like aerial photography, surveying, agriculture, and infrastructure inspection. The leading market players are continually innovating and optimizing hardware components to provide accurate data for mapping and monitoring, powerful processors enable real-time data processing, and efficient batteries extend flight durations. Furthermore, robust hardware facilitates safe and stable flights in challenging conditions and in professional settings wherein downtime can lead to financial losses.
Breakup by Product:
- Fixed Wing
- Rotary Blade
Rotary blade dominates the market
The report has provided a detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the product. This includes fixed wing, rotary blade, and hybrid. According to the report, rotary blade holds the largest market share due to their unique advantages that align with the diverse needs of various industries. Additionally, the design of rotary blade systems offers exceptional stability, maneuverability, and versatility, making them well-suited for a wide range of applications. Apart from this, quadcopters, hexacopters, and octocopters with rotary blades provide excellent vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, allowing them to operate efficiently in confined spaces. Furthermore, rotary blades enable precise control over the position of drones, altitude, and orientation, which is essential for tasks like monitoring crops in agriculture or performing search and rescue missions. Moreover, the ease of maintenance and repair associated with rotary blade systems appeals to commercial operators who rely on consistent performance and uptime.
Breakup by Mode of Operation:
- Remotely Operated
Remotely operated represents the largest market segment
A detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the mode of operation has also been provided in the report. This includes remotely operated, semi-autonomous, and autonomous. According to the report, remotely operated accounts for the largest market share due to their distinct advantages. These drones offer unparalleled control and precision, as they are operated by skilled pilots who can adapt to dynamic environments and complex tasks. Additionally, the increasing use of remotely operated commercial drones in applications, such as aerial surveys, search and rescue operations, and infrastructure inspections is favoring the market growth. Furthermore, remote-operated drones enable real-time decision-making through live video feeds and data transmission, enhancing situational awareness. Moreover, the versatility of remote-operated drones allows them to be customized with a variety of payloads, including high-resolution cameras, thermal sensors, and LiDAR scanners. This adaptability enables businesses to tailor drones to their specific needs, making them a valuable asset across diverse sectors.
Breakup by Application:
- Filming and Photography
- Inspection and Maintenance
- Mapping and Surveying
- Precision Agriculture
- Surveillance and Monitoring
Filming and photography hold the largest market share
The report has provided a detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the application. This includes filming and photography, inspection and maintenance, mapping and surveying, precision agriculture, surveillance and monitoring, and others. According to the report, filming and photography accounted for the largest market share due to their profound impact on various industries. Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras and advanced stabilization systems provide unparalleled aerial perspectives, revolutionizing content creation, marketing, and data acquisition. Additionally, the increasing use of drones in the entertainment and media sectors to revolutionize films, TV shows, and advertisements is offering dynamic shots that are cost-prohibitive and technically challenging. Furthermore, photography businesses benefit from the unique angles and sweeping landscapes that drones can capture. Apart from this, real estate agents employ drones to showcase properties, while event photographers seize the opportunity to create memorable, panoramic shots.
Breakup by End Use:
- Delivery and Logistics
- Media and Entertainment
- Real Estate and Construction
- Security and Law Enforcement
Media and entertainment account for the majority of the market share
A detailed breakup and analysis of the market based on the end use has also been provided in the report. This includes agriculture, delivery and logistics, energy, media and entertainment, real estate and construction, security and law enforcement, and others. According to the report, media and entertainment accounted for the largest market share due to their capacity to leverage the unique capabilities of drones for captivating visual storytelling. Drones equipped with advanced cameras and stabilization technology provide unprecedented aerial perspectives, revolutionizing content creation. Additionally, in the media sector, drones enable the production of films, TV shows, and advertisements with dynamic shots that are logistically challenging or cost prohibitive. Moreover, drones offer an engaging means of engaging with audiences, as social media platforms thrive on visually appealing content. These platforms showcase stunning drone-captured imagery, drawing viewers and promoting brands.
Breakup by Region:
- North America
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- Latin America
- Middle East and Africa
North America exhibits a clear dominance, accounting for the largest commercial drones market share
The market research report has also provided a comprehensive analysis of all the major regional markets, which include North America (the United States and Canada); Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, and others); Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, and others); Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and others); and the Middle East and Africa. According to the report, North America accounted for the largest market share.
North America held the biggest market share since the region has a well-established investment and funding structure for drone startups and companies, enabling research, development, and scaling of drone technologies. Apart from this, the presence of drone manufacturers, software developers, service providers, and end-users in various countries of North America is favoring the market growth. Furthermore, the region boasts a skilled talent pool in fields like aerospace engineering, AI, and robotics, which supports the continuous evolution of drone technology. Moreover, the widespread adoption of drones by enterprises and individuals for various purposes in North America is catalyzing their demand in the region.
Companies are continuously investing in continuous technological advancements. They are consistently improving drone design, incorporating cutting-edge sensors, cameras, and propulsion systems to enhance performance and capabilities. Additionally, they are actively engaging with regulatory authorities to ensure compliance with evolving drone regulations. Apart from this, various leading commercial drone companies are innovating payloads to cater to diverse industries. They are developing specialized cameras, sensors, and tools for applications, such as aerial photography, surveying, and agriculture. Furthermore, these companies are integrating data analytics and artificial intelligence into their offerings. Moreover, they are focusing on exploring eco-friendly materials and propulsion methods for their drones to enhance long-term operational efficiency.
The report has provided a comprehensive analysis of the competitive landscape in the market. Detailed profiles of all major companies have also been provided. Some of the key players in the market include:
- Aeronavics Ltd.
- AeroVironment Inc.
- Autel Robotics
- Insitu Inc. (The Boeing Company)
- Leptron Unmanned Aircraft Systems Inc.
- PrecisionHawk Inc.
- SenseFly (AgEagle Aerial Sys)
- Skydio Inc
- SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd. (iFlight Technology Company Limited)
- Yuneec International
- In January 2023, Autel Robotics launched EVO Max 4T drone, a sophisticated and highly innovative flying platform that is suitable for business and consumer applications.
- In July 2023, SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd. (iFlight Technology Company Limited) introduced the DJI Air 3, a new powerful addition to the Air Series with dual primary cameras.
- In May 2021, Yuneec International with ATL Americas (Santa Clara, CA.) and FoxFury Lighting Solutions (Oceanside, CA.) announced its partnership, adding Foxfury powerful light systems to the Yuneec flagship H520, H520E, and H520E-RTK unmanned aerial vehicles for night missions.
Commercial Drones Market Report Scope:
|Base Year of the Analysis
|Scope of the Report
||Exploration of Historical Trends and Market Outlook, Industry Catalysts and Challenges, Segment-Wise Historical and Predictive Market Assessment:
- Mode of Operation
- End Use
||<2 Kg, 2 Kg-25 Kg, and 25 Kg-150 Kg
||Hardware (Airframe, Propulsion System, Payloads, Others), Software
||Fixed Wing, Rotary Blade, Hybrid
|Modes of Operations Covered
||Remotely Operated, Semi-Autonomous, Autonomous
||Filming and Photography, Inspection and Maintenance, Mapping and Surveying, Precision Agriculture, Surveillance and Monitoring, Others
|End Uses Covered
||Agriculture, Delivery and Logistics, Energy, Media and Entertainment, Real Estate and Construction, Security and Law Enforcement, Others
||Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
||United States, Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico
||Aeronavics Ltd., AeroVironment Inc., Autel Robotics, Delair, Insitu Inc. (The Boeing Company), Leptron Unmanned Aircraft Systems Inc., PrecisionHawk Inc., SenseFly (AgEagle Aerial Sys), Skydio Inc., SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd. (iFlight Technology Company Limited), Yuneec International, etc.
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Key Benefits for Stakeholders:
- IMARC’s industry report offers a comprehensive quantitative analysis of various market segments, historical and current market trends, market forecasts, and dynamics of the commercial drones market from 2017-2028.
- The research report provides the latest information on the market drivers, challenges, and opportunities in the global commercial drones market.
- The study maps the leading, as well as the fastest-growing, regional markets. It further enables stakeholders to identify the key country-level markets within each region.
- Porter's five forces analysis assist stakeholders in assessing the impact of new entrants, competitive rivalry, supplier power, buyer power, and the threat of substitution. It helps stakeholders to analyze the level of competition within the commercial drones industry and its attractiveness.
- Competitive landscape allows stakeholders to understand their competitive environment and provides an insight into the current positions of key players in the market.