The decision to invest in drone technology should consider the current technology and state of government regulation. Government rules require training and certification of pilots and compliance with regulations about usage in commercial airspace and in populated areas. The technology is in a stage of rapid growth with new ideas coming on stream that improve, extend, or expand the capabilities of drones. There are several ways to invest in drones, but for most businesses, the cost-effective approach is to acquire equipment and training to develop in-house capacity to perform tasks and functions using drones.
Commercial uses of drones grow daily, and as more businesses learn the benefits of drone technology, the demand for drone services increases. Commercial uses of drones include security, telecommunications, photos and video services, contract services such as surveillance and safety inspections, and monitoring worksites. For many businesses, drones serve the primary function such as professional real estate photography, cinema and television production, and mapping surveys. These businesses reap the value and rewards of commercial drone training. They can extend their operations by offering Drone Classes to train new hires and to expand the skills of certified pilots.
Microsoft, Google, Amazon, UPS, and Federal Express are among the leaders in experimenting with the use of drones for deliveries. Drones offer great potential for disaster relief, combat zones, and other dangerous or difficult access situations. Balfour Beatty Construction has plans to use drones for certain types of projects like wall systems. The Nation of Dubai has a plan to use drones for passenger flights, and in Iceland, Flytrex operates a delivery service. Research continues on new usages and designs. One innovative approach seeks to imitate the natural flight of birds and insects to offer wind resistant prototypes for use in battlefield or combat situations.
A particularly useful area of drone usage in safety operations for broad and diverse systems. Rail systems are an excellent example with thousands of miles of track and right of way. Drones can provide inspections and surveillance type functions. A similar advantage may come to urban rail systems, subways, monorails, elevated rail, and light rail.
Federal rules require operators to be 16 years or older, vetted by the TSA, and hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) rating. Commercial drone training can help qualify individuals, groups, and company personnel. Businesses can arrange drone classes for one or more employees.
Commercial Drone Training includes information on the limitations on equipment. The rules limit UAS to 55 lbs. or less, and certified pilots must perform pre-flight checks. Drone classes cover restrictions on airspace in classes B, C, D, and E. Students learn the requirements for Air Traffic Controller permission for the use of drones in all but class G airspace. Businesses must qualify for exemptions under FAA rule 107 to operate drones in populated areas.
Businesses that invest in drone technology can expand many functions and services using this flexible technology. With the fast growth of drone applications, there are many examples in the marketplace of successful usages. Drones are flexible and versatile tools; With proper training, businesses can customize drones to the best advantage of their operations.