The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has introduced a standardized regulatory framework for commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS), driving the widespread adoption of drones for commercial purposes in Europe. Germany, France, and the United Kingdom are the most prominent commercial UAS markets in the region, while innovative drone start-ups are on the rise in Switzerland. The need to reduce carbon emission and adopt ecological solutions is expected to push European governments to ease regulatory restrictions and encourage businesses across industries to adopt UAS applications. Technological and artificial intelligence advancements in UAS platforms are primary growth drivers for the commercial UAS market, lowering the costs of drone programs by enabling autonomous drone operations that do not require highly skilled pilots. However, Brexit trade complications and significant delays in the production and delivery of drone platforms resulting from the global chip shortage and supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 threaten the market growth of commercial UAS in Europe. This study highlights essential market verticals for drone applications in Europe and how different industry participants can capitalize on emerging growth opportunities in the commercial UAS space. Examples of European companies that have successfully taken advantage of such opportunities are also included. The study presents information analyzed from reports in the Frost & Sullivan database, industry papers of European UAS consortia, and specialized UAS magazines. Interviews with industry participants, both manufacturers and service providers, have been conducted to gain additional insights into the industry and validate published information.
Author: Juan Perl