Drone industry insights
Integrated skies Policy and regulations

Commercial Drones: A Thriving Ecosystem

Wednesday, 26 July 2023

Following the latest edition of Drone Industry Insights’ annual survey, it is time for some initial insights about drone companies around the globe. Before the release of a final report in a few weeks, we would like to share some data based on the responses to the 2023 survey.


What Drone Companies Do

The commercial drone industry encompasses a wide range of focus areas, with the majority of companies primarily engaged in providing drone services. These services span various sectors, including aerial photography, surveying and mapping, inspection services, and delivery among other operations.

Recognizing the importance of skilled operators and professionals, many drone companies have made it their focus to offer comprehensive training programs and certifications. That is why education and training also play a pivotal role in the industry's growth and it is the second most-common type of drone company that participated in the survey.

The third-most common type of company are those who specialize in drone hardware manufacturing. These companies are at the forefront of technological advancements, designing and producing drones with cutting-edge features and capabilities. By pushing the boundaries of drone technology, they contribute to the industry's progress and enable new possibilities for various applications.


Where Drone Companies Are Located

Although the commercial drone industry is a global phenomenon, certain countries have emerged as prominent hubs for drone-related activities. China, the United States, and Japan stand out as key players, hosting a significant number of drone companies. These countries have fostered an environment conducive to drone innovation and adoption, propelling their respective industries forward.

China, in particular, boasts numerous companies specializing in drone manufacturing and services, capitalizing on its vast market and supportive government policies. Chinese drone manufacturers have gained recognition for their competitive offerings, contributing to the country's dominance in the global market.

The United States has also experienced substantial growth in the commercial drone industry. With a diverse range of companies offering drone services and driving innovation, the country has established itself as a major player. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has played a crucial role in regulating and promoting the safe integration of drones into the national airspace, further fueling the industry's expansion.

Japan, renowned for its technological prowess, has emerged as a significant force in the drone industry. Japanese companies focus on various applications, including agriculture, infrastructure inspection, and disaster response. Leveraging their advanced technology and research capabilities, these companies have positioned Japan as a leader in drone innovation.

Company Sizes and Final Insights

When it comes to size, the industry exhibits a diverse range of scales. While a considerable number of companies fall into the 1-10 employee range, followed by those with 11-50 employees, the average number of employees tends to lean towards the 51-200 range. This suggests the coexistence of both small-scale operations and larger, more established companies within the industry.

In conclusion, that data would suggest that the most common type of drone company is a service provider of under 50 employees who is based in China, the US or Japan. However, this generalization fails to highlight the incredible diversity of the drone industry and the hundreds of innovations that they bring. So stay tuned for the release of the 2023 report with much more insights from over 1,000 drone companies around the world!



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