In the wake of the recent drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, it’s worth asking: how much would you be willing to spend on drones if you could fly them?
In a new report, Global Security Analytics estimates that it would cost you $2.8 million to purchase the drone you’re now trying to buy.
The report, titled Drone Price: The Real Cost, says it was commissioned by the Drone Association of Canada, a Canadian business lobby group that supports the sale of drones to the public.
It found that the average price of a drone was $2 million.
But as it noted in its report, that’s not the whole story.
It also noted that “the average price for drone technology in the U.S. is between $20,000 and $60,000.”
And it estimated that if you bought a drone for a year and paid the $2K you would save in fees, the cost of buying a new one would be about $100,000.
That’s a difference of more than $300,000, and that’s just one year’s drone use.
So what’s the cost?
The report’s authors, Chris Rolfes and Rob Macdonald, found that they could get a drone with a price tag of $1.4 million if they were to buy it for $20 million.
That puts the cost at $2m, or about $250,000 a year.
“This is a price-tag that could be paid with no risk of losing the drone or having to change to another drone,” they wrote in a statement.
“The drone industry has the highest cost per flying hour in the industry, with a typical drone weighing between 50 and 100 pounds, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.”
But they didn’t take into account the cost that the manufacturer has to pay in order to make drones fly.
And they estimated that they’d be saving about $20.5 million a year by not buying a drone that’s too heavy.
If they’d only bought a cheaper drone, it would be worth it, said Rolfe, a senior analyst at GlobalSecurity.ca.
But if they paid $200,000 for a drone, and bought it for an average price in the $50,000 range, it’d cost $1,900 a year, or $400,000 in total.
Rolf, who worked on the report, said the report was “an attempt to get an accurate picture of the cost per hour of use of drones.”
“There’s a lot of cost, a lot more than just the cost to manufacture and fly them,” he said.
“There is a lot that goes into getting them into the hands of the consumer, in terms of the drone itself.”
Rolf said that the cost isn’t just about cost, but about risk.
He said that a drone costs more money to operate than a typical aircraft does, and there’s the risk that a pilot could crash the drone.
That risk would be greater than the cost savings, he said, because it’s easier to get people to do it than it is to do things that require more planning and planning.
“If the pilot crashes the drone, you don’t get the benefits of that money, you only get that risk of that pilot crashing the drone,” he explained.
“So the risk is not that you can get a good pilot to do the job.
The risk is the loss of the pilot, so you can’t use the risk to justify the money.”
But Rolf is not alone in his skepticism about drones.
In a recent interview, retired General John Nicholson, the former head of the U of T’s air force and one of Canada’s most prominent drone experts, said that if a drone doesn’t work well, “then it’s not worth it.”
Nicholson said that he has “no idea” if drones are going to be able to be reliable, and warned that “there’s a huge opportunity cost in having a drone go into the ground.”
Nicholson has been an outspoken critic of drones, arguing that they have “an enormous potential to be used in the wrong hands.”
“The whole point of a manned aircraft is to fly the human element out there, to provide safety, to keep the population safe,” he told the Toronto Star in a 2014 interview.
“But if you’re going to do that, you’re also going to want to do some of the heavy lifting on the ground, so that you’re not getting killed.
You’re not killing anybody, but you’re killing a lot people.”
Nicholson, who has a long record of criticising drone use, said in the interview that he “would have to be a little bit naive” to think that drones can be a reliable tool for public safety.
“I don’t know that drones will work out in a way that will be safe for public use,” he admitted.
“They’re going the wrong