From filming the athletes in Sochi to RCMP search and rescue efforts, Unmanned Aerial vehicles (UAVs) are expanding into various industries around the world. Now more than ever, the use of UAVs have expanded from military combat missions to an array of uses, now known as commercial drones. BP has utilized UAV technology to gather 3-D aerial data to help them with oil spill clean up efforts, while Google has purchased Titan Aerospace in an effort to connect people to the internet who have trouble obtaining access.
But what does this mean for the future of the industry? It is clear that many UAV companies have been experiencing growth in the last few years and are expected to continue growing, as the commercial UAV industry is worth an estimated several billion dollars. With the passing of the FAA’s Drone Act, commercial jets and drones will be able to share the same air space in the next 5-10 years, leading to the growth of another section of the Aerospace industry: certification. Certification is a challenge that many UAV companies may face in the future as it can take many years of expertise in the Aerospace industry to certify up to industry standards such as DO-178b/c and DO-254. Many experts in the Aerospace industry understand the importance of testing and certification, now it is up to them to ensure that the products created comply with those standards.