Summary of our market study

The global market for civilian drones has been experiencing substantial growth, particularly led by China, which now holds over 70% of the market share with DJI being recognized as the leading manufacturer. As of 2020, the global civilian drone market was valued at $6 billion and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 15% between 2022 and 2027.

In France, where the market is largely dominated by professional drone applications, growth has stagnated around €250 million in sales between 2017 and 2020. This slowdown is attributed to stiff competition from Chinese manufacturers like Parrot, which has seen sales decline. Innovations in the industry, particularly in battery and energy solutions, and adjustments to regulatory environments, are essential for market growth. In response to increasing competition, French companies are striving to innovate, while the demand for drones continues to rise in sectors such as security, surveillance, agriculture, and delivery services.

Growth and Preferences in the Civil Drone Market

The civil drone market in France has shown significant expansion with growth rates averaging nearly 30% annually. This market is primarily dominated by professional drones, which command over three-quarters of the market share, leaving the leisure segment with the remaining portion. The surge in demand for professional drones reflects an increasing acceptance of drones across various sectors, specifically in applications such as aerial photography, surveillance, civil security, infrastructure inspection, and agriculture.

Within the professional context, the media sector claims the largest slice of the market, utilizing approximately one quarter of all civil drones for aerial photography and other relevant services. Meanwhile, an emerging sector has been surveillance and civil security, which saw impressive growth from about 5% to 20% over several years. French consumer perspectives on drones generally lean toward recognizing their innovative and technological nature, fitting well within contemporary trends. However, there remains a significant degree of concern regarding the safety and regulation of drones, with around 59% of the people surveyed expressing that drones could be hazardous, and roughly 40% finding them intimidating.

Despite these concerns, there is a clear preference for professional drone use over leisure applications. In terms of sheer numbers, we observe a considerable gap with support for professional drone development outpacing that of leisure drones by more than 20 percentage points. It's notable that the French market presents significant potential, as sectors like telecommunications and agriculture continue to integrate drone services into their operations. Service providers have enjoyed robust growth, with certain companies experiencing 100% increases in their turnover, reaching figures between 3 and 4 million euros.

On the global scale, China remains the preeminent force with approximately three-quarters of the global civilian drone supply, while local French ecosystem players continuously strive to innovate and maintain competitiveness against low-cost, quality alternatives offered by Chinese manufacturers.

In summary, the French civil drone market is marked by strong demand, particularly for professional applications, while regulations and safety concerns continue to guide consumer sentiment. With advancements in technology and a growing embrace of drone services in various industries, the landscape for civil drones in the country is dynamic and promising, despite international competition and regulatory challenges.

Key Players Shaping the Civil Drone Market Landscape

The civil drone market is a highly dynamic and competitive field with various players that operate at different levels of the value chain. Here's a closer look at some of the notable entities mentioned:

  • Parrot: Positioned as a significant force in the drone industry, Parrot stands out not only as a manufacturer but also as a company with a broad footprint in drone technology. Specializing in a wide spectrum of drone solutions, Parrot has made a mark with innovations catered towards both recreational and professional applications, offering devices equipped with advanced features and catering to market demands for high-quality imagery and reliable performance.


  • Delta Drone: An important name when it comes to drone operators, Delta Drone has a unique position in the market as a service provider and as an operator, dealing with drone operations and ensuring compliance with safety regulations. Their expertise lies in operating drones for various applications, proving their competence in a sector that demands precision and adherence to stringent regulatory standards.


  • Azur Drones: Known for manufacturing specific drones tailored to niche market requirements, Azur Drones has established itself with a product lineup that focuses on innovation and targeted functionalities. Their commitment to research and development allows them to offer drones that meet specialized industry needs, showcasing their ability to adapt and create in a competitive technological landscape.


  • Delair Tech: Venturing into the realms of drone technology with a focus on professional applications, Delair Tech brings forth specific drone solutions that cater to businesses and industries requiring aerial surveying, inspection, and mapping services. Noteworthy for their attention to detail and precision, Delair Tech stands as a testament to the French market's potential in delivering professional drone capabilities.


  • Instadrone: As a drone services company, Instadrone has paved its way to success by offering comprehensive drone-related services, including rental, pilot provision, and data analysis. Their growth trajectory is a clear indicator of the robust dynamics within the drone services segment, highlighting the demand for end-to-end solutions in various sectors such as telecommunications and agriculture.

Finally, the world leader DJI, hailing from China, overshadows many with its dominant market presence. With a broad catalog of products suitable for various market segments, DJI has secured its throne by offering drones that balance affordability with high performance, appealing to a vast array of customers worldwide. Their potential in data collection and integration with cloud platforms, like their collaboration with Microsoft Azure, exemplifies their sheer dominance and innovative capacity in the global drone market.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Drones are unmanned aircraft with automatic or remote control piloting. Drones can be used for civilian or military purposes. This study deals only with civilian drones.

In the civilian sector, two types of use can be distinguished: so-called "leisure" use, and professional use. In fact, drones can be used for a wide variety of applications, such as aerial photography for the media, surveillance and civil security, infrastructure inspection, agriculture, and so on.

Worldwide, the civil drone market is set to triple by 2028. The market is largely dominated by China, which supplies three-quarters of all civilian drones. The world's leading manufacturer is DJI.

In France, more than three-quarters of the civil drone market is held by professional drones. Recreational drones account for the remaining quarter. Average annual growth in the French market in recent years has been almost 30%.

The French ecosystem is essentially made up of start-ups and SMEs, such as Parrot, Dronisos, BeTomorrow, Delair, Drone Volt and others. These pure players are gradually being joined by aerospace giants such as Airbus and Thalès. Digital giants such as Google, IBM and Amazon are also gradually entering the market.

Market trends are towards the development of long-haul, cargo-capable drones, with a particular focus on the use of drones as a means of delivery. However, the sector is subject to stringent regulations, considered by manufacturers and operators to be highly restrictive, and this is hampering market growth.

1.2 The global market

The global market for civilian drones is dominated by China, which offers good-quality, low-cost aircraft. This country has become the hub of drone manufacturing over the past six years, and now accounts for over **% of the global civilian drone market. [***]

In ****, according to BpiFrance, the global civilian drone market was worth ...

1.3 The French market

The civil drone market is growing exponentially. Over the period ****-****, French manufacturers and operators grew by ***%, according to a study by Erdyn. In ****, **% of the French civil drone market by value was represented by professional drones, compared with **% for leisure drones.[***]

Only, an article in Usine nouvelle magazine on December ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Demand for civil UAVs by sector

Drone market shares held by value France, ****, in Source: ****

The field of civil drones is largely dominated by professional use of these machines. In ****, as shown in the graph above, the French market was **% dominated in value terms by the civil drone market for professionals. We can imagine that this proportion ...

2.2 The French and drones

In ****, Harris interactive conducted a survey of a sample of *,*** French people to understand their vision of drones.

"For each of the following adjectives, would you say it corresponds rather well or rather badly to drones?" France, ****, in % of responses "corresponds rather well" Source: ****

The graph above shows us that ...

2.3 Demand trends and cyclicality

evolution of interest in the search "drone" on Google France, ****-**** Source: ****

The evolution of searches for the term "drone" on Google over the last five years shows a gradual decline in interest in this type of craft. There is also a certain seasonality in demand, with an increase in searches ...

2.4 Drones, a popular choice for delivery systems

Drones are highly coveted in the delivery sector. whether it's the giants of e-commerce, mass retailing or the medical sector, the use of drones on a large scale is under intense scrutiny, not least to meet the challenges of the "last mile".Most drone deliveries are currently made in rural areas. ...

2.5 Demand from the main sectors

Some sectors are particularly interested in drones, here's a list and why drones are a big advantage:

Security and surveillance:

The security and surveillance sector is surely the one in which demand has intensified the most in recent years. Given their speed, ease of operation, discretion and ability to evolve in ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Market value chain

Source: ****

It's important to note that each box represents a different profession, and the link between them is essential.

Since civilian drones are used in a wide variety of ways, there are many different players in the sector:

Contractors data users Manufacturers: uAVs sensors and measurement chains drone systems, which assemble ...

3.2 Market forces and players

Focus on the civil drone industry

Data on the players in this market is either limited or relatively dated. With the help of an article published on December **, **** in the magazine usine nouvelle, we can state that in the same year there were **,*** jobs linked to the civil drone market, including ...

3.3 A market where innovation is key to standing out from the crowd

With Chinese competition offering quality drones at lower cost, France's civil drone industry needs to differentiate itself in other ways. Innovation and product enhancement are two of the ways in which they do this.

Most innovations revolve around hardware solutions (***) and connected objects, drones for civilian use are of great interest ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Prices and drone types

Drones by budget:

From €** to €*** At this price, you'll find drones that are very small and others that are a little larger, mainly designed to fly indoors or in the absence of wind, these drones are perfect for learning to fly. On the other hand, their range is generally limited to ...

4.2 Market trends

Offering services provided by drones:

Many companies are increasingly turning to service providers who offer a complete range of services, i.e. drone rental, pilots and specialists who analyze the data collected by the drones. These services can be of many kinds, but they are mainly offered in the following sectors: ...

4.3 Influences on supply

Chinese competition:

French civilian drone manufacturers are experiencing difficulties as Chinese competitors such as DJI enter the market in ever greater numbers. These competitors offer low prices for good quality. An article published in Usinenouvelle magazine on December **, **** relates the effect of the arrival of Asian players on the market on ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Regulations governing the use of recreational drones

Regulations governing civil UAVs are constantly evolving, given the total absence of legislation governing civil airspace. There are two main sets of standards: European and French.

European regulations :

Source: ****

French regulations :

Source: ****

Sub-category regulations :

Drones intended for private use are divided into classes (***). There are therefore regulations specific to this ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Parrot
  • Delta drone
  • Azurdrones
  • Delair tech
  • Instadrone
  • DJI
  • Lifelines
  • Exail (Gorgé Groupe)
  • Seaber
  • Drone Geofencing
  • Milton Innovations Drônes
  • Novadem
  • Survey Copter (Airbus Group)
  • SupAirVision

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Number of companies in the aerospace industry
  • Number of employees in the aircraft and shipbuilding sector
  • Growth in drone market size
  • "For each of the following adjectives, would you say it corresponds rather well or rather badly to drones?"
  • Percentage of respondents in favour of the development of civil drones
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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Delta drone
Delair tech
Exail (Gorgé Groupe)
Drone Geofencing
Milton Innovations Drônes

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