Drone Sales Expected to Shoot Past $1 Billion Per Year in 2017

And they're only expected to keep on going up from here. 

PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images

For the first time in history, drone sales are expected to surpassed the $1 billion mark in sales this year, thanks to both recreational and corporate demand for unmanned aerial vehicles. Drones are highly appealing to hobbyists who enjoy recording their outdoor activities from above or taking breathtaking landscape shots for their independent films, as they are for corporations who increase business efficiency by using UAVs to monitor their agricultural or infrastructural operations. There’s a whole world out there being improved through drone use, and the market is definitely seeing it.

According to Axios, the world will reach the $1.5 billion mark in drone sales per year at some point in 2018—and it’s no surprise that things are ramping up so rapidly. With corporate giants like Walmart filing patents for drone-deploying blimps, or Amazon’s plans for constructing fulfillment centers and train-based drone-hubs, the entire drone industry is getting a boost.

Thankfully, it’s due to corporate pressure from companies such as the ones mentioned above that regulations and restrictions regarding drone are being formulated, agreed upon, and codified into law. These are the companies working together with the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure their businesses aren’t breaking any laws, so that their corporations can thrive in this new landscape.

Axios reports that the most common UAVs filling our skies are personal ones. These are your everyday, hobbyist drones—the ones that weigh less than 0.55 lbs (250 grams) and do not require FAA registration. Up next are the commercial drones, which are allowed to operate below 400 feet during the day, and have to remain in sight of the person operating the UAV. 

Where is all this heading? Well, according to Axios, the FAA is estimating up to 400,000 drones will be in our skies for commercial purposes in the next five years. That's six times as many as are currently buzzing around. And with corporate entities like UPS, Amazon, Google, Walmart, Airbus, Nokia, DHL and many more spearheading the charge to establish the framework for large-scale drone-delivery in the near future, expect to see that number keep on rising.