Drones could add billions to UK GDP

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Drone technology has the potential to increase UK GDP by £42bn or two per cent by the year 2030 according to new research from PwC.

The research estimates that there will be over 76,000 drones in use across UK skies by 2030 with more than a third (36%) being utilised by the public sector in areas such as defense, health and education.

While there are significant opportunities for economic gains across a number of sectors, the wholesale and retail trade sector are set to see the highest GDP uplift with an increase of two and a half per cent which would amount to around £7.7bn.

PwC's report also found that drone technology could help the UK save £16bn in net cost savings by 2030 as a result of increased productivity. The technology, media and telecoms sector is poised to save the most by utilising drones with a potential net savings of £4.8bn by 2030. 

There could be as many as 628,000 people working in the UK's drone economy by that time according to PWC estimates. The increased usage of drone technology is set to create new types of jobs to develop, build, operate and regulate drones.

Drones leader at PwC, Elaine Whyte provided further insight on how society could better prepare to take full advantage of drones, saying:

“In order to realise the full potential from drones, the immediate focus must be on developing society’s confidence in the technology to help drive acceptance and increase adoption. While drones are often currently viewed as more of a toy, by combining this emerging technology with the right business understanding and human insight there is a huge opportunity to help solve some of business and society’s most important problems.”   

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