2014 sees dramatic increase in commercial drone use worldwide
You could say 2014 was year of the drone, with widespread media interest, huge sales over Christmas for hobbyist drones and a significant increase in the number of certificates given out by aviation authorities for commercial operations worldwide.
It is estimated that in European countries more than 1,000 commercial approvals have been granted for infrastructure safety inspections. In the UK, the number of organisations given permits to use drones commercially, has increased by 80% since the beginning of 2014 and the CAA have now issued 442 permissions in total.
In Canada, more than 1,000 operating certificates were issued in the first 9 months of 2014 alone and Transport Canada exempted small drones - those weighing 2 kilograms or less and those weighing between 2.1 and 25 kilograms from the requirement of operating certificates if they meet certain criteria.
In Australia, CASA have now issued more than 180 operating certificates for commercial UAV operators, 130 of which have been in the last 18 months.
In the USA, the FAA have started to give out an increasing number of exemptions for commercial UAV operators, with 14 being given in the last few months.
Aviation authorities around the globe are trying to keep up with the demand of prospective operators and it is evident there will continue to be dramatic increases in the number of certificates, permissions, exemptions and licenses given in 2015.