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Commercial unmanned aircraft market may be worth $10 billion

Nov. 5, 2013 at 7:13 PM   |   Comments

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ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Unmanned aircraft systems company Modern Technology Solutions is expanding its business into the commercial drone marketplace, seen likely to grow to $10 billion within three years.

Corporate, public and industrial companies are finding diverse uses of unmanned aircraft and the trend can only grow, analysts said.

So far, MTSI says, growth in the commercial unmanned aircraft systems market has been inhibited by a lack of a regulatory structure for integrating those crafts' operations into the National Airspace System in the United States.

Similar inhibiting factors are said to be limiting the growth of drones into commercial arena elsewhere in the world.

The UAS community is also keen not to have their unmanned aircraft defined as "drones." Aerospace industry representatives attending recent defense fairs in Washington and elsewhere in the United States were reported discouraging news media and other industries' representatives from defining UAS in all its variations as "drones."

At defense industry conventions, much energy went into telling the media to desist from calling a UAS a drone.

MTSI, a leading systems engineering provider in the government drone domain, announced its expansion of UAS services into the commercial marketplace amid projections of a growing potential.

That emerging market, estimated by various sources at a potential $10 billion within three years, "has been inhibited by the lack of a regulatory structure for integrating drones into the National Airspace System as well as the absence of established standards for airspace-enabling, unmanned aircraft technologies," the company said.

MTSI says its unmanned systems team of more than 70 dedicated professionals "has been deeply entrenched for over a decade" in solving the policy, regulatory, technical and operational challenges associated with integrating unmanned aircraft operations into the National Airspace System.

MTSI says its expertise spans multiple government agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration, Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security, NASA and the intelligence community.

The company said it was confident about entering the commercial market.

"MTSI is strategically positioned to leverage our combined UAS capabilities into the commercial UAS marketplace," MTSI President Kevin Robinson said.

He said the company has developed new capabilities while working with varieties of drone platforms. It has collaborated on dozens of federal agency and industry efforts and broad unmanned aircraft systems engineering, integration, test, operations and certification.

With that convergence of capabilities and experience MTSI will now apply to rapidly develop emerging commercial drone markets both in the United States and abroad, Robinson added.

MTSI products and services include work on devising a UAS road map and plans for integrating drones into civilian air spaces.

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