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Market Research Report

Impact of FAA Rules on Small UAS Business

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Impact of FAA Rules on Small UAS Business
Published: July 31, 2014 Content info:
Description

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 study answers the following key questions:

  • 1. How clear are service providers on current FAA regulations regarding the use and operations of small UAS for commercial purposes in U.S. Class G airspace?
  • 2. To what extent do current rules create barriers for small business?
  • 3. What is the economic outlook for providers given either favorable or unfavorable rules in the future?
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

ABOUT THIS STUDY

  • Methodology
  • Demographics

EIGHT KEY INSIGHTS

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • To FAA
  • To Manufacturers and Operators

DETAILED FINDINGS

  • Service Offering Variety
  • Length of Service
  • Readiness to Offer Services
  • Revenue from U.S. Operations
  • Employment of Insurance
  • Comprehension and Clarity of Current FAA Policies
  • Favorable Regulations
  • Business Growth under Favorable Regulations
  • Regulations Considered Unfavorable for Business

ABOUT DRONE ANALYST

APPENDIX: QUESTIONS

List of Figures

  • Figure 1 - QUALIFIED RESPONDENTS BY GLOBAL REGION
  • Figure 2 - TITLE OR ROLE
  • Figure 3 - PRIMARY SERVICE OR PRODUCT
  • Figure 4 - LENGTH OF SERVICE
  • Figure 5 - TIME TO BEGIN SERVICE
  • Figure 6 - REVENUE FROM CURRENT SERVICES
  • Figure 7 - COMMERCIAL INSURANCE USE
  • Figure 8 - CLARITY OVER CURRENT RULES
  • Figure 9 - FAA RULE COMPREHENSION
  • Figure 10 - FAVORABLE FAA REGULATIONS
  • Figure 11 - BUSINESS STARTS UNDER FAVORABLE RULES
  • Figure 12 - HIRING TENDENCIES IN THE NEXT YEAR UNDER FAVORABLE RULES
  • Figure 13 - PROJECTED REVENUE GROWTH UNDER FAVORABLE RULES
  • Figure 14 - UNFAVORABLE REGULATIONS
  • Figure 15 - BUSINESS IMPACT OF UNFAVORABLE RULES
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