Massive growth potential
Over the next decade, increasing numbers of drones of all descriptions will be buzzing around German skies. And while the majority may be diminutive in scale, they amount to a big business – one that’s growing larger by the day. The German Aviation Association (BDL) says that the German drone market is currently the world’s fourth largest and projects it will rise from its current EUR 574 million to nearly EUR 3 billion by 2030. That represents an annual growth rate of 14 percent. Some 4,000 companies and 10,000 employees already work in the sector.
“Unmanned air vehicles are useful to people in both megacities and regions with undeveloped infrastructure,” says Achim Friedl, chairman of the Association for Unmanned Flight (UAV DACH). “For that reason, the civilian drone economy will grow disproportionately all over the world. Drones help open up innovative business models and improve production, logistics mobility and security.”
Unmanned flight can also help to decarbonize aviation, Friedl adds. Potential uses for drones, aside from air taxis, include surveying/data collection and the transportation of goods – to name just two. Overall, unmanned aviation is a market where international specialists can find a niche with relative ease.
“The use of drones is being explored conceptually and tested out,” says Friedl. “The business community and German industry are prepared for this, but they still need proven experts for unmanned flight.”