Drones have the potential to transform the UK economy adding £42bn to GDP by 2030, a new report says.
The study by business advice accountants PwC estimates there will be more than 76,000 drones in use across UK skies by 2030.
More than a third (36 per cent) it says could be used by the public sector (including in areas such as defence, health and education).
But there are opportunities for economic gains across all sectors, and the GDP uplift generated by drones is forecast to have the largest impact on the wholesale and retail trade sector with an increase of 2.5 per cent, amounting to around £7.7bn.
The news comes as no surprise to Conner Romain from Blackpool-based World 360 which uses drones to create visual content for promotions.
He said: “Currently drone services are being used in many industries, and with the use of aerial technology getting increasingly popular, we are able to tap into niche markets including search and rescue, industrial inspections, surveying and much more. Drones aren’t just a toy, they are highly sophisticated bits of kit that can have a massive positive impact on the economy and can also be an influencing factor for businesses efficiency.
“An example of cost and time efficiency savings would be for roof inspection.” He said using drone is safer and cheaper and they can get a picture of the whole roof and its weak spots in difficult to access areas.
“Drone technology has the potential to grow to the staggering rates Price Waterhouse Cooper has predicted, there is always new developments within the drone industry and this will only grow. As long as the pilots in control are trained adequately, drones can be very beneficial to the future of many industries.
“We at World 360 specialise in creating engaging visual content for promotions, however we will be delving more into industrial drone services in the near future.”
PwC estimates there will be 628,000 people working in the drone economy by 2030.
Elaine Whyte, UK drones leader at PwC, said: “Drones have the potential to offer a powerful new perspective for businesses, delivering both productivity benefits and increased value from the data they collect.
"The UK has the opportunity to be at the leading edge and now is the time for investments to be made in developing the use cases and trial projects needed to kickstart our drone industry.”