The global commercial drone market size was estimated at USD 19.89 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9% from 2023 to 2030. The market growth is attributed to the increasing enterprise application of drones across various industry verticals. Several drone manufacturers are continually testing, inventing, and upgrading solutions for diverse markets. Besides, the integration of modern technologies in commercial drones to deliver enhanced solutions is opening new growth opportunities for the commercial drone industry. The business use cases of commercial drones have expanded significantly over the past few years.
Drones are increasingly adopted in the construction and real estate sectors due to their ability to survey a property, offer constant and exact project alerts, increase safety, and prevent harmful accidents on construction sites. Moreover, their conventional applications, such as monitoring, surveillance, and security, have boosted the product demand for search and rescue operations, identifying unstable roofs in dangerous and inaccessible positions, and inspecting elevated infrastructure that might damage equipment such as electrical cables.
The commercial drone market growth is further driven by technological advances in electronics, such as modern computing, microcontrollers, processors, mobile hardware, and cameras. For instance, in September 2022, AeroVironment Inc. launched Vapor 55MX, a next-generation VAPOR Helicopter that caters to customers from the defense, commercial, and industrial sectors.
Technological advancements allow companies to design and construct measurement and annotation tools for estimating area, volume, and distance. As a result, organizations are constantly adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) solutions to retrieve accurate findings from large volumes of data. Integration of these modern technologies provides the industry with ample opportunities as they facilitate real-time, data-driven decision-making through high-speed data capture, processing, and transfer. AI-powered drones also allow users to interact and observe footage captured by other drones in real-time and track their flight paths.
Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a significant surge in the use of drone technology in various contexts, with drones becoming immensely beneficial in such scenarios. To speed up transportation turnaround times and reduce the risk of infection, drones were widely used in the healthcare industry for the pickup and delivery of test samples and the transportation of medical supplies. According to UNICEF, over eighteen countries used drones for delivery and transportation throughout the pandemic.
The rotary blade segment held the largest revenue share of over 79% in the commercial drone market in 2022. The demand for rotary blade drones is anticipated to surge for inspection activities owing to their ability to hover and execute agile maneuvering while maintaining a visual on a particular target for prolonged periods. These drones are often seen as a suitable alternative for various business applications such as surveillance, filmmaking, photography, and monitoring. In addition, they are easier to control than hybrid and fixed-wing counterparts.
The hybrid segment is expected to attain a CAGR of around 18% over the forecast period owing to the advantages associated with these commercial drones. These drones enhance their efficiency and power by integrating the capabilities of batteries and fuel. Moreover, these drones can fly for long periods with heavier payloads, even in severe weather conditions.
The commercial application segment accounted for a revenue share of over 73% in 2022. Applications such as filming & photography are increasingly using drones for key shots in movies. Photographers are rapidly adopting drones and these drones are quickly becoming a vital element of professional photography. Companies such as DJI are developing small drone cameras capable of capturing high-quality images for professional photographers. The elevated procurement of drones for aerial cinematography and photography such as the Autel EVO II, Parrot Anafi FPV, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI Mini 2, and DJI Mavic 2 Zoomisre likely to fuel segment growth.
The precision agriculture application is expected to record a considerable CAGR of over 15% from 2023 to 2030 as drones are becoming one of the essential aspects of farm management. Agriculture costs are being reduced and farmers are raising yields worldwide with the assistance of drones. Drones enable farmers and agricultural employees to collect farm data, automate repetitive tasks, and increase productivity. Drones also help farmers with various activities, such as field monitoring and analysis and agricultural plantation planning to evaluate crop growth and health. For instance, Raptor Maps, a U.S.-based agriculture analytics firm, uses drones to help farmers assess their potential harvest better.
The media & entertainment segment accounted for a market share of over 22% in 2022 and is expected to record notable growth over the forecast period. Drones have numerous applications in media and entertainment. Filmmakers are now using professional drones for the most cost-effective and exact frame capture possible. The increasing demand from clients and owners for aerial photography to advertise amusement parks, public spaces, tourist attractions, hotels, and resorts is expected to drive the segment's expansion.
The delivery & logistics segment is expected to witness the fastest CAGR of 17.8% from 2023 to 2030 with the expansion of the e-commerce sector across the globe. With the increased demand for quick delivery of goods, drones are being increasingly used in e-commerce warehouses for product warehousing and delivery. Warehouses worldwide are making significant investments to enhance the level of automation. In this regard, drones find an important usage in operations, such as barcode scanning, that require more person-hours.
The visual line of sight (VLOS) segment accounted for the largest market share of over 69% in 2022. The varying legislations and regulations regarding the operation of commercial drones are key factors for the segment. Similarly, the ease of flying drones in a visual line of sight is popular due to the ability to avoid obstacles and other hindrances. Thus, the segment dominated the commercial drone industry.
The beyond visual line of sight segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of around 14% over the forecast period. The use of commercial drones for long distances and complex commercial tasks is expected to drive the growth of the segment. In addition, the autonomous capabilities of these drones are enabling operators to use them in increasing instances.
The remotely piloted segment accounted for the largest market share of over 59% in 2022. The existing popularity of remotely piloted commercial drones in applications such as agriculture, videography, surveillance, and more, is attributed to the dominance of the segment. In addition, remote pilots operating commercial drones satisfy the need for manual operation and intervention in times of distress. This, in turn, is expected to drive the segment demand positively.
The fully autonomous segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of 15.8% over the forecast period. The segment is expected to grow as fully autonomous operated drones can perform operations without any human intervention from take-off to landing. These drones can complete these maneuvers entirely on their own, relying on onboard sensors, algorithms, and the implementation of artificial intelligence. In addition, fully autonomous drones offer the potential for scalable operations. Multiple drones can be deployed simultaneously, working in a coordinated pattern, covering large areas, or performing critical tasks, such as rescue missions and agriculture surveys, among others. This, in turn, is expected to further fuel the segment’s growth.
The <5 hours segment accounted for the largest market share of over 70% in 2022. Commercial drones carrying payloads and equipment for various applications such as pesticide spraying and surveillance, among others, are expected to add to the segment’s growth. Also, the popularity of affordable drones in this segment is a key factor for its high demand.
The 5 - 10 hours segment is anticipated to grow at the fastest CAGR of 14.6% over the forecast period. The segment growth is attributed to the capability of these drones to carry larger payloads for longer duration efficiently. In addition, drones in this segment are popular among enterprises that require large amounts of data gathering and monitoring. Similarly, the trend of fully autonomous drones enables operators to deploy these drones on a pre-planned route for maximum effectiveness and output.
The <25 kg segment accounted for the largest market share of 81% in 2022. This is credited to the operational flexibility and easy operational functionality of such drones. Moreover, the takeoff weight makes the drone suitable for a wide range of applications while adhering to stringent regulations. Similarly, drones are capable of maneuverability in compact areas while maintaining efficient flight capabilities that are expected to add to the segment demand.
The 25 kg - 500 kg segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of over 15% over the forecast period. Such drones are increasingly deployed in complex commercial applications as they can easily carry heavy payloads with the help of cameras, sensors, and autonomous capabilities. Also, these drones have already been widely used to transfer medicines and other healthcare supplies to remote areas. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety and efficiency factor of drones in this segment helped increase demand to transport healthcare products and in search & rescue and disaster support operations.
The hybrid segment is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of 14.4% over the forecast period. The segment growth can be attributed to the trend of efficient power solutions in drones with the use of gasoline and electric type in hybrid solutions. In addition, the advantage of improved flight performance in relation to the distance and stability offered by hybrid propulsion is a key factor contributing to growth.
The electric propulsion type segment accounted for the largest market share of over 72% in 2022. The segment dominance is attributed to the popularity of electric drones with rechargeable batteries. These drones have gained widespread adoption due to numerous advantages such as quiet operations, flight efficiency, longer flight times, and easy maintenance, among others. The trend of reducing emissions caused by drones with the help of electric motors is further expected to add to the segment growth. This, in turn, is expected to drive the segment demand over the forecast period.
The North America region is expected to grow at a significant CAGR of 9.9% over the forecast period, owing to the ongoing advancements in drone technology, favorable government initiatives, and growing demand from enterprises across numerous industries. For instance, in the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued new regulations to create more coherent and consistent standards for the legal and safe operation of UAVs in commercial spaces. These rules and regulations are anticipated to decrease entry barriers and boost product usage, thereby favoring market expansion further.
Asia Pacific region accounted for a market share of 29.4% in 2022. The regional dominance is attributed to the favorable regulatory scenario, especially among industrialized countries. Several governments remain keen to pursue new regulations for commercial drone applications. The growth of the regional commercial drone industry is being further driven by the increasing commercial drone applications across start-up firms.
The key players operating in the commercial drone market are focusing on developing innovative solutions to attract a large customer base and gain a competitive edge in the industry. In January 2023, Autel Robotics launched EVO Max 4T drone, a sophisticated and highly innovative flying platform that is suitable for both business and consumer applications. It provides considerable navigational and self-reliance capabilities due to high-end autonomous flying technology and Artificial Intelligence. It also comes with tri-anti-interference and omnidirectional obstacle avoidance capabilities that ensure flight safety and stability in high-interference environments. Some prominent players in the global commercial drone market include:
SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd
Draganfly Innovations Inc.
Guangzhou EHang Intelligent Technology Co. Ltd
Parrot Drones SAS
Market size value in 2023
USD 22.98 billion
Revenue forecast in 2030
USD 57.16 billion
CAGR of 13.9% from 2023 to 2030
Base year for estimation
2018 - 2021
2023 - 2030
Volume in thousand units, revenue in USD million/billion, CAGR from 2023 to 2030
Revenue forecast, volume forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, trends
Product, application, end-use, propulsion type, range, operating mode, endurance, maximum takeoff weight, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; MEA
U.S.; Canada; Germany; UK; France; Italy; Spain; Ireland, Sweden; Denmark; Norway; Finland; China; Australia; Japan; South Korea; Brazil; Mexico; UAE; South Africa
Key companies profiled
Aeronavics Ltd.; AeroVironment Inc.; Autel Robotics; DJI; Draganfly Innovations Inc.; EHang, Inc.; Intel Corporation; Parrot Drones SAS; PrecisionHawk Inc.; YUNEEC
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This report forecasts revenue & volume growth and provides an analysis of the latest trends in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2030.For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global commercial drone market report based on product, application, end-use, propulsion type, range, operating mode, endurance, maximum takeoff weight, and region:
Product Outlook (Volume, Thousand Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Filming & Photography
Inspection & Maintenance
Mapping & Surveying
Surveillance & Monitoring
Government & Law Enforcement
Firefighting & Disaster Management
Search & Rescue
End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Delivery & Logistics
Media & Entertainment
Real Estate & Construction
Security & Law Enforcement
Propulsion Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Range Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018-2030)
Visual Line of Sight (VLOS)
Extended Visual Line of Sight (EVLOS)
Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)
Operating Mode Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018-2030)
Endurance Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018-2030)
5 - 10 Hours
Maximum Takeoff Weight Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018-2030)
25 - 500 Kg
Regional Outlook (Volume, Thousand Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2030)
Middle East & Africa (MEA)
b. The global commercial drone market size was estimated at USD 19.89 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 22.98 billion in 2023.
b. The global commercial drone market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.9% from 2023 to 2030 to reach USD 57.16 billion by 2030.
b. The rotary blade segment accounted for the largest share of more than 78.0% in terms of volume in the commercial drone market in 2022 and is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period.
b. The filming and photography application segment accounted for the largest revenue share of approximately 31.0% in 2022 in the commercial drone market and is expected to continue dominating the market over the forecast period.
b. The security and law enforcement end-use segment accounted for a share of around 23.0% of the commercial drone market in 2022.
b. North America dominated the commercial drone market with a volume share of around 30.0% in 2022. This is attributed to favorable government initiatives regarding the advancement in drone technology coupled with the growing demand from businesses for drone-acquired data.
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