Drones: Next big thing in aviation is small

LONDON – The next big thing in aviation may be really small.

With some no bigger than a hummingbird, the hottest things at this week’s Farnborough International Airshow are tiny compared with the titans of the sky, such as the Airbus 380 or the Boeing Dreamliner.

What’s got aviation geeks salivating at Farnborough, this year’s biggest aviation jamboree that features participants from 40 countries, are the commercial possibilities of unmanned aerial vehicles – drones to most of us.

Drones are more commonly known for their use in conflict areas. This week Hamas launched for the first time an unmanned drone into Israeli airspace that was shot down. But drones, which can weigh less than an ounce, have potential commercial applications that are vast. The industry, military and non-military, is growing and could see investments of nearly $90 billion over the next ten years.