Study predicts 70K jobs from drones

The country’s largest trade group for drones on Tuesday released a study that says the unmanned vehicle industry could create 70,000 jobs in the United States over the next three years and add $14 billion to the economy.

The Association of Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI), which commissioned the study, went one further and predicted the industry could produce more than 100,000 jobs by 2025 with an estimated economic impact of $82 billion.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for an industry developing technology that will benefit society, as well as the economy,” said Michael Toscano, president & CEO of AUVSI said in a statement.

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“In recent years, unmanned aircraft technology has grown remarkably and is already proving useful in a range of domestic applications. Integrating UAS into the national airspace will lead to new and expanded uses, which means the creation of quality, high-paying American jobs.”

AUVSI has ramped up its lobbying efforts recently in an attempt to push the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to move on a plan that would allow for drones over U.S. skies. The FAA has been mandated by Congress to select test sites to gauge the safety of drone flights, but has yet to do so.

AUVSI hired an in-house lobbying team in 2011.