The impact of drones on privacy and national security remain matters of intense debate, but the economic impact, however, is becoming clearer by the day.
Private-sector drones will create more than 70,000 jobs within three years and will pump $82 billion into the U.S. economy by 2025, according to a major new study commissioned by the industry’s leading trade group, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International(AUVSI). The study assumes that drones are fully integrated into the national airspace by 2015, in line with the current schedule set by Congress.
But the motivation behind Tuesday’s report runs deeper than just dollars and cents. With more than 20 states considering bills to limit what drones can do — including a two-year moratorium on all government use in Virginia — and at least a half-dozen similar measures being kicked around in Congress, the industry faces an uncertain future.