The Global South Africa Small Drones Market is estimated to reach $134.5 million by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 22.35% from 2020 to 2025. The small drones also known as miniature micro air vehicles (MAVs) are portable unmanned aerial vehicles that have varying sizes and are used for wide range of applications. The small drones are widely procured in military applications as they work on geographical surveying, mapping, real time video imaging and others. In the recent years the small drones are equipped with new technology dual global Navigational Satellite Systems (GNSS) like GPS and GLONASS. The upsurge of small drones in the Military and Defense applications along with wide range of applications carried out by the small drones for instance surveying and mapping, aerial remote sensing, commercial applications and others have projected to propel the significant growth of the market.
In South Africa the growth of mining industry, developments in more data accurate drone technology, presence of the dominant players in hardware as well as niche applications are driving the growth of the market in this region.
Rise in adoption of small drones due to their use in various applications like mapping, inspection, cargo handling, broadcasting, surveillance and others have driven the growth of the market.
The Fixed wing drones are dominating the market owing to their high speed and increased capacity of carrying materials. Furthermore, the fixed wing drones are easy to handle due to their simple construction and low cost of maintenance.
The Military sector is witnessing a significant growth in the market as these small drones are widely procured for military applications for instance mapping, real time video, HD pictures, and communication among others.
By Size- Segment Analysis
By Size South Africa Small Drones Market is segmented into Micro, Mini and Nano Drones. The nano drones are witnessing a significant growth in the market owing to their small size and long term durability. The nano drones are widely used in surveying applications as these are very small in size and efficient in surveillance. Furthermore, nano drones are used for inspection in collapsed buildings after an earthquake or any natural disasters as they can reach places that are inaccessible for human rescuers in a shorter period of time thereby reducing the human life at risk. The nano drones are capable of completing missions in confined spaces or in the places where there is lack of position signals owing to the presence of microprocessors, sensors, batteries and all necessary wireless communication units.
By Type – Segment Analysis
By Type the market is segmented into Multi-Rotor, fixed wing and Hybrid. Fixed wing drones are dominating in the market owing to their wide range of applications in agriculture, imaging applications, surveillance missions, and others. Fixed drones are faster, can carry more weight and have longer flight time owing to which these drones are adopted in most of the applications. Fixed wing small drones have simpler structure owing to which the maintenance and repair cost is less. Furthermore, the fixed wing small drones have higher speeds and longer flight durations. This factor enables larger survey areas per given flight. The fixed wing drones have capacities to carry greater payloads enabling less power consumption owing to the fact that they are configured with twin sensors and bigger & expensive sensors as well.
By End Users – Segment Analysis
By End Users the market is segmented into Military, Civil & Commercial, Homeland Security, Recreation, Mining, Agriculture, Science & Research, Surveying and Mapping, Agriculture, Others. The Military sector is witnessing a significant growth in the market owing to the huge adoption of small drones in military applications. In military applications small drones are equipped with tiny units that works as a spy on the enemy forces from the sky. The small drones used in the military applications have very high speed and can fly up to 25 minutes on a single charge. In the military camps these small drones can communicate with handheld ground station (GCS) units for giving information about the threats and enemies. Furthermore, the small drones takes HD photos and provide live video feeds about the real time activities in the military bases. Owing to the advancements in small drones, at University of Tokyo the Jouhou Systems Kougaku Laboratory unveiled DRAGON drones. The dragon drone consists of number of small drones which change their shape in the sky according to the requirements. These dragon drones are used for military surveillance applications. These factors have ultimately driven the growth of the market.
Drivers – South Africa Small Drone Market.
Rise in the growth of small drones due to its small size and use in various applications (COVID-19 outbreak)
One of the driving factor for upsurge of small drones is its size and speed along with uses in varying applications. In the latest CORONA VIRUS-19 outbreak these small drones have proved to be best in use throughout the sanitizing process. In the healthcare and social assistance secotr during the COVID-19 outbreak the drones are used for medicinal deliveries. In the public administration these small drones were used for situational awareness like lockdown and curfew enforcement along with broadcast of useful information. In the energy and communication applications these small drones are used for inspection of infrastructure to ensure energy supplies and communication network. Furthermore, in body temperature scanning purposes also the small drones are used. In the agriculture sector the small drones are used for mapping of fields to access crop health. These numerous uses of small drones have boosted the growth of the market.
Rise in technological advancements:
The rise in technological advancements have resulted in the establishment of more small sized drones for multipurpose uses. Due to the technological advancements the procurement of small drones for military applications have led to the various applications ranging from surveillance to HD photos and real time videos. The technological advancements have led to the deployment of sensors, microprocessors and other sophisticated systems in the small drones which is used widely in the recent years for cargo delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Owing to the small size and large speed the small drones are even being used to collect patient’s samples for COVID-19 testing. This application is being promoted widely. Owing to the technological advancements more advanced and small sized drones are anticipated to be used in various applications.
Challenges – South Africa Small Drone Market.
Stringent governmental regulations in South Africa:
Although the small drones are useful for many applications nowadays, there are many governmental regulations imposed on small drones in South Africa. According to the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), there are stringent rules and regulations on flying small drones. Drones with maximum takeoff weight 7kg can only be flown in this region. Owing to this drones are unable to transport cargo materials. Drones can only be flown in the daylight hours in this region according to SACAA. Furthermore, inside the National Parks the use of drones are strictly prohibited. These factors are hindering the growth of the market in this region.
South Africa Small Drone Market.is dominated by major companies such as Compact Aerial Services (PTY) Ltd., Darkwing Aerials (PTY) Ltd., DC Geomatics (PTY) Ltd., Fortune Air (PTY) Ltd., Gillcor CC, Scarab Industries CC, Skybot CC, Public Display Technologies (PTY) Ltd., RocketMine (PTY) Ltd., VPM Planning CC, BAC Helicopters CC among others.
May 24, 2017- DJI launched remote controlled camera drone. This drone is small in size which fits in the palm easily and are used for real time video as this done is equipped with camera.
February 28, 2020- Mzansi Aerospace Technologies and Royal Haskoning DHV launched unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programme. This program helps the start-ups in the drone industry to run their business successfully by giving them solid understanding.