How Many Canadian Drone Pilots Are There? An Update
The current canadian drone program launched in january of 2019 and in the first year they issued nearly 29 000 basic pilot certificates and 3 000 advanced certificates, but since most people actually hold both of these certificates, if they hold the advanced, you can’t really just add them. Together to get the number of actual drone pilots, so i’ve made a wild ass guess that 90 of folks get their basic certificate. First, then they’re advanced so i’m, estimating the actual number of drone pilots at a bit over 29, 000 or 2400 per month. Now, in the second year of the program, we now have 50 707 basic certificates and almost 5 000 advanced and by the way the advanced figure represents people who have not only passed the advanced exam but have also passed their in person flight review. So in the second year about 1500 new pilots every month lower than the first year, but still a very respectable number, now i’m, a visual guy, so let’s graph, this stuff, the blue candles here represent the number of basic certificates and the orange is the advanced. The green line is my estimate of the actual number of pilots again, assuming only about 10 percent of the people jump straight to their advanced. Very strong growth is definitely continuing in the second year, although the number of new pilots per month is certainly tapering off, probably not too surprising, and the number of advanced certificates per month is slowing more than the basic now.
Maybe this is because of the pandemic. It’S made more made it more difficult to secure a flight review i’m, not sure hard to tell here’s another perspective, it’s the views of my basic study guide, video published first in january 2019, shortly after the current rpas program, launched this graph directly from youtube shows an Amazingly continuous climb of views with an average of 155 views per day and it’s still going strong. Similarly, my advanced study guide, published in april of 2019, is also enjoying a steady flow of views with an average of 52 views a day. Okay, well let’s, look at how the correlation between the number of pilot, certifications and study guide video views works out here. The blue candles are the number of basic certificates with the blue line, showing the number of basic study guide views over the same period. I was pretty surprised to see that the number of views per certificate awarded is actually increasing from 2.2 to 2.6 views per certificate. Now, on the advanced side, the advanced certificate certification numbers shown in orange are even more interesting. Views per certificate have increased from 6.2 views per certificate, awarded to 10.3 views per certificate. I’M, not sure whether this means people are simply reviewing the video more carefully now or perhaps more people are successfully passing the advanced exam, but have not yet passed their flight review, and so they don’t show up on the in these numbers. Yet let’s round this off.
With drone registration numbers here, we can see that there are now over 57 000 drones registered in canada with a gradually increasing rate from 3 000 per month in the beginning to 3 800 per month in 2020, probably showing that most people are accepting the fairly reasonable Registration process. That said, it is still a bit surprising to see the number of registrations in 2020 rise so much given that the dji mini was released at the end of 2019, and i would think that most people who are buying that are not bothering to register them. Well, i think, based on all of this, one can conclude that the drone industry in canada, whether commercially or recreationally, is alive and well and perhaps even thriving. We can probably expect 2021 to see a continuing rise in pilots and i’m guessing a significant growth in advanced certificates as well. Well, there you have it some interesting statistics about drone pilot, certifications and drone registrations in canada.