In the not-too-distant future, large unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—those flying above 400 feet and weighing more than 55 pounds—will begin populating the skies: transporting cargo, fighting fires, delivering WiFi and even flying people around the world. Think Bigger: Large Unmanned Systems and the Next Major Shift in Aviation is the first look at the large UAS market in the United States, and highlights a potential $30 billion annual market and more than 60,000 jobs in support of the industry.

Large UAS market potential

The impact of large UAS on Americans and our economy will impact us in many ways they see, and many other ways they don’t. Sooner than many people think, a significant portion of American commercial travel will be via autonomous aircraft. Long-haul cargo will drastically change, with new economic centers rising in places in our country where they don’t exist today. Airports and other intermodal transportation centers will need to be designed and redesigned to meet vastly different needs and experiences.

However, the $30 billion market potential is no guarantee. Nor is it a given that only U.S. companies will dominate this market.

“The biggest barrier to growth is the regulatory framework,” said Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Eric Fanning. “Global competitors are working to seize the market from the United States, the country that invented this technology. These are American jobs and American opportunities. But we must start now on certification standards, exports and spectrum to ensure they stay American.”

Learn more about the future of large UAS in the market by reading the full report below.

Large UAS in the Skies

UAS White Paper

UAS Infographic