Nearly 60,000 registered drone users reside in California, says MarketWatch reporter Sally French. That's the most of any state in the country when it comes to both the commercial and hobby space according to recent data released by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Menlo Park, Calif., has the most registered commercial drones in the country with 176, and is home to a few drone delivery start up companies looking for success in Silicon Valley. Menlo Park is followed by Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, as well as Los Angeles and its neighboring city Burbank.

Houston has the most drones used for hobbies only with 3,061 registered hobby drone users, and also makes the top 10 list for commercial drone usage with 53.

Dyan Gibbens, founder and CEO of Houston-based drone company Trumbull Unmanned, says she’s not at all surprised that Houston ranks so high for commercial drone use, given Houston’s strong energy sector. Trumbull Unmanned uses drones for mapping, inspecting and monitoring, primarily in the energy sector, and its clients include Chevron Corp. CVX, -0.27% and BP BP, -0.39% Using a drone for projects like a flare-stack inspection can cost about an order of magnitude less in time and money than using a ladder truck or scaffolding, Gibbens said.

Read more >