BERLIN: The German drone market is expected to grow from 574 million euros (649.28 million US dollars) to 3 billion euros by 2030, which corresponds to an annual average growth rate of 14 percent, according to a report by the German Unmanned Aviation Association (VUL) published on Monday.
VUL will be officially presenting the report in Berlin on Tuesday. According to the report, the number of operational drones in Germany would increase to around 850,000 by the end of 2030.
Nearly half a million drones are in operation across Germany at the moment, of which 455,000 are used privately and 19,000 are used commercially. While the growth in private use would be slowing down, the number of commercially used drones would be increasing to 126,000 by 2030.
Among privately used drones, about a third is toy drones with a value of up to 300 euros worth 169 million euros in sales.
Commercially used drones in Germany with a value of up to 10,000 euros have a market value of 404 million euros.
With 394 drone companies, Germany ranks fourth after the United States, China and France in an international ranking of the largest commercial drone markets. China and the US together make up around two thirds of the global commercial drone market.
Since October 2017, stricter rules for drone operation have been in effect in Germany. Drone flights over take-off and landing areas of airports as well as over crowds of people, hospitals, prisons, industrial plants, national roads or railway systems are now prohibited.
In permitted areas, drone devices must remain within sight during the entire flight and are not allowed to surpass an altitude of 100 meters. In addition, all drone models weighing more than 0.25 kilograms must have a fireproof sign that identifies the holder, including full name and address.
In 2018, the German air traffic control DFS registered 158 disruptions in air traffic by drones, an increase of about 80 percent compared with 2017. Unlike the incident at Britain’s second largest airport, Gatwick Airport, with several flight cancellations, no flights had to be cancelled as a consequence of drones in Germany.