Commercial uses of DRONES, which are under the jurisdiction of the FAA and starting to be used as a result of favorable trial results over the last two years. The industry is growing rapidly without any FAA rules – industry needs clarification limits for DRONES on airspace, requirements for hardware, and many more areas that need rules. Currently, the FAA grants one-at-a-time wavers for flying at night, over people or beyond line of sight.  While we see evidence of somewhat relaxed rules, but they’re still a constraint. Why are we concerned?  Currently there are 390,000 DRONES registered for commercial uses. By 2023, the number will increase past 1 million DRONES. This change is resulting in public concerns about privacy, safety, and noise will be which will be overcome through lawyers leading us down the unknown path to issues of regulations laws, and logistical issues that will need to be resolved.

The industry with growing applications for DRONES, is clamoring for remote identification a license plate that allows identification by law enforcement, transparency, and to spot or report illegal behavior. This capability should appear late in 2020, but we can expect the usual kinks to delay the system until 1st or 2nd quarter in 2021. How will 1 million DRONES fly all over under 400ft, and not cause mass confusion and concerns for the people. On the other hand, the growth of this industry will create hundreds of thousand jobs for remote pilots. Also there will be great increases in the need for technicians, coders, analysts, and artificial intelligence experts.

While the FAA works on creating new roles for this industry, the DRONE industry keeps busy on key innovations. Such as longer-lasting batteries, heavier payloads, better crash avoidance systems, improved sensors and better image recognition. DRONE prices continue their steady decline per the product Life-cycle curve which shows the stages in detail. The Chinese are leading the way with 7 key Manufacturers focused on consumer and commercial applications, but in the U.S. manufacturers are catching up quickly. Driving the industry are the initial business applications such as, counting plants, spotting crop disease and forest fires which can be spray with pesticides and deliver water to put out fires. The applications for DRONES are fascinating – as Billions will be spent on delivering medicine all over the globe and the convenience of getting a product such as food and other key items to Customers within 30 minutes. How about inspection of roofs, oil refineries, pipeline inspection and surveys needing difficult approaches.

The Management Lesson to be learned:  Have you had a high-level meeting to draw up a plan as to what DRONES could contribute to your present and future products in the pipeline. Additional planning will be required to see what receiving a shipment by Drone delivery will require to speed product through you receiving operations.