Drone market to be worth US$89 billion by 2030

By Andy Brown07 October 2022


The global drone market is set to grow from US$13.7 billion in 2021 to US$89.6 billion in 2030, according to a report from GlobalData.

A large reason for this growth is the significant adoption in the oil and gas industry, with recent regulatory changes across key markets boosting the scope for drone deployment in this sector. 

The March 2022 US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) update on beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drones is expected to benefit drone manufacturers as well as industrial users in the country and might provide an impetus to the technology development, especially in BVLOS drones.

Drones have been conventionally flown within the visual line of sight (VLOS) at industrial sites, such as construction sites, where the drone is visible to the operator on the ground. BVLOS means that the drone can be flown beyond the visibility of the operator.

“In the past decade, the oil and gas industry tentatively experimented with drone deployment to monitor field equipment scattered over large areas. The industry then began collaborating with drone manufacturers to develop devices suitable for industry specific deployment. Over time, newer use cases were identified and implemented for drones, such as methane management,” said Ravindra Puranik, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData.

Image sensors or cameras with visual (RGB), infrared (IR), and lidar (light detection and ranging) capabilities offer enhanced data collection capabilities for drones. Besides, gas detectors installed on drones enable to collect emission related datapoints.

“Advances in drone-based imaging, sensing, and data transmission are helping the oil and gas industry to devise newer use cases for drones. The role of drones in inspection has expanded from capturing RGB pictures/video to using infrared and laser technologies to record corrosion, weathering, and spacing characteristics of the asset under consideration,” added Puranik.

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