A study by Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) predicted that the unmanned aircraft industry has the potential to add more than 70,000 new jobs to the American economy in the first three years following the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into U.S. national airspace system (NAS) in 2015.
The study further forecasted that the unmanned aviation industry will add nearly 104,000 jobs to the American economy by 2025 and $482 million in tax revenue to the coffers of state and local governments in the first decade after integration. Overall, the report claimed, the American economy could potentially see $81.2 billion in total economic impact between 2015 and 2025 if the widespread use of UAS technology is ultimately permitted in American skies by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).
However encouraging, there were some contingencies attached to the predictions in the study.
The first is that the FAA puts guidelines in place for the full integration of UAS's into NAS by 2015 as scheduled. The FAA was instructed to come up with a UAS integration plan by Congress through the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, however, it is unknown exactly what rules would shape than plan. The government agency says its main mission in designing the guidelines is safety, and it is unknown if that goal is compatible with the level of integration necessary to satisfy the predictions of AUVSI's report.
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