Drone Analyst Research Unveils Impact of FAA Regulations on Small UAS Businesses

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Research finds unfavorable rules will disintegrate an already fragile market for small unmanned aerial systems in the U.S., but significant market growth awaits once FAA regulations allow

REDWOOD CITY, CA, May 5, 2014 — Drone Analyst (www.droneanalyst.com) today released a report detailing the findings of its newest research called “Impact of FAA Rules on sUAS Business.” The research examines the economic impact of current FAA policies for small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) operating in Class G uncontrolled airspace and evaluates how commercial service providers and operators perceive those rules and assess their importance.

Since 2007, the FAA has essentially banned 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 our findings, we conclude the overall market for sUAS in the U.S. would disintegrate if unfavorable regulations come into being,” said Colin Snow, CEO and Founder of Drone Analyst. “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.”

Research results will be presented at the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition May 8th and 9th, 2014, in San Francisco, CA. Drone Analyst, a leading sUAS research and advisory services firm, provides a summary and a complete report of the research and other consulting services based on key findings from the study.

To learn more about the Impact of FAA Rules on sUAS Business study, please visit http://www.droneanalyst.com/research.