Drones are technology of the here and now. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved civilian drone usage as of December 21, requiring people to register all drones that weigh between a half pound and 55 pounds. The increase of interest in drones has led to the opening of the world’s first droneport southeast of Las Vegas. Droneports could become more commonplace as the technology improves. Despite the numerous restrictions, drones are not allowed within five miles of an airport without permission, nor can they fly above 400 feet in the air. This new droneport will allow both civilians and businesses to learn how to operate drones under the new FAA regulations.
Some industries that could be utilizing drones in the near future are the military, logistics, e-commerce, real estate, media and agriculture. “This is an exciting day for the City of Boulder City and the State of Nevada, to be the site of and partner with Aerodrome on the world’s first commercial droneport,” said Brok Armantrout, director at the Community Development Department of Boulder City, in a press release. “As one of only six FAA-approved UAS test sites in the country, we are more than prepared to meet the expectations that will come with being the world’s first droneport, and we welcome those opportunities enthusiastically.”
While several parts of the Aerodrome droneport are already operational, the full project won’t be complete until 2018. The droneport will serve as a blueprint for other states and countries willing to open up droneports. “This droneport is the model for the rest of the country, if not the world,” said Jonathan Daniels, president of the Aerodrome.
Drone technology is reportedly heading to the African country of Rwanda, where a medical supply launch pad could deliver relief goods to not only Rwanda, but other sub-Saharan African countries in need of aid. It is also reported that the global drone market could grow by as much as $82 billion in the next ten years. “The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry envisions an unprecedented $82.1 billion growth between 2015 and 2025, generating at least 103,000 new, high-paying jobs,” says an Aerodrome document.
One of the big questions facing the drone industry is if it can garner enough talent to accommodate such rapid growth. The Aerodrome document claims that the talent will be there. “The industry faces a crippling talent gap between the number of new jobs that will need to be filled and an undeveloped pool of trained individuals and groups needed to command this bold new skyscape. Aerodrome exists to fill the gap between need and opportunity. We are uniquely prepared to help meet the increasing demand for an unmanned systems workforce.”