Drone Technology Takes Off

November 11, 2018

In Fall 2018, Marlin reps attended the Commercial UAV Expo for the first time. Hope to see you there next year!

Since 2015, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has allowed the commercial use of drones in the U.S. Guidelines require commercial drones to weigh less than 55 pounds and operate at a maximum altitude of 400 feet, which is below commercial airspace. However, at this time, drones cannot be flown beyond the visual line-of-sight.1

By 2026, industry experts believe commercial drones could add more than $82 billion to the U.S. economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs in drone manufacturing, flight training, start-up ventures and commercial applications.2 Two critical steps on the path to an autonomous drone fleet are longer battery life and the development of “detect and avoid” technologies to prevent mid-air collisions.

Amazon, a prominent company investing in the drone industry3, has partnered with the British government to test its drone delivery technology.4 Beyond their use for deliveries, drones are already in use in several industries around the world for a variety of purposes5:

  • Media – gather information and shoot video footage
  • Real estate – videotape and record information about houses, office buildings and properties
  • Engineering – support surveying and maintenance work for road construction and infrastructure projects
  • Oil and gas – survey oil rigs and pipeline maintenance
  • Airlines – safety inspections of aircraft equipment
  • Architecture and construction – gather information to develop 3D renderings and design specifications for proposed projects
  • Agriculture – identify failing plants and inventory crops; spot spray water, pesticides and fertilizers
  • Environmental monitoring and conservation – monitor and track animals to assess their health and population; record changes in habitats


As unmanned aircraft, drones can travel easily in places where airplanes cannot and significantly reduce the cost of collecting visual data. Their commercial application will continue to evolve and expand under the new rules.


1. “7 Cool Commercial Drone Uses Coming to a Sky Near You,” by Adam C. Uzialko, Business News Daily, July 27, 2016. Available at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/9276-commercial-drones-business-uses.html


2. “With 1 Announcement, the FAA Just Created an $82 million Market and 100,000 New Jobs,” by Yoram Solomon, Inc., June 23, 2016. Available at: http://www.inc.com/yoram-solomon/with-one-rule-the-faa-just-created-an-82-billion-market-and-100000-new-jobs.html


3. “7 Cool Commercial Drone Uses Coming to a Sky Near You,” by Adam C. Uzialko, Business News Daily, July 27, 2016. Available at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/9276-commercial-drones-business-uses.html


4. “16 UK companies using drones: Royal Mail, Asda, the BBC and more – Here’s how drones are being used in 2016,” by Margi Murphy, Techworld, July 26, 2016. Slide presentation available at: http://www.techworld.com/picture-gallery/personal-tech/best-uses-of-drones-in-business-3605145-3605145/

5. “16 UK companies using drones: Royal Mail, Asda, the BBC and more – Here’s how drones are being used in 2016,” by Margi Murphy, Techworld, July 26, 2016. Slide presentation available at: http://www.techworld.com/picture-gallery/personal-tech/best-uses-of-drones-in-business-3605145-3605145/

Are you in an industry that could benefit from purchasing a drone? Apply today or contact our equipment sales team to learn more about Marlin’s financing solutions.

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