Selecting a Commercial Drone Service Provider

Looking for a suitable Drone Service Provider (DSP) to partner with on your project can be a daunting affair. Businesses providing Drone or UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) Services for commercial applications are increasing, with new providers coming into the sector year on year.

DSP’s offer a versatile solution for capturing aerial imagery efficiently and quickly. From agriculture to construction, mining, inspection and more, DSP’s provide a cost effective and safe solution to obtaining inspection data and imagery.

Do I Need a Professional?

Flying a drone as a hobby is far and away different from operating commercial drones for professional flights. Many hobby drones are limited to a short operating range with only a few minutes flight time, and if a camera is fitted, the image quality may only be suitable for ‘selfies’. On the other hand DSP’s operate commercial drones that provide an extensive flight range measuring in kilometres, up to an hours flight time on a single battery and impressive 4K RGB, Multispectral and Thermal imagery.

The body responsible for granting businesses permission for commercial drone operations in Great Britain is the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Each and every potential drone pilot must complete full ground school training, pass a ground school exam and then pass a flight assessment before a recommendation can even be made to the CAA. Once a recommendation has been made, the CAA then reviews each application along with supporting documentation and operation manuals before deciding whether to grant a Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO). When you pick a professional you can be sure they are suitably trained and qualified.

Due Diligence

Your first step in selecting a DSP partner is to ensure that they hold a current permission (PfCO). Only DSP’s with qualified pilots holding a current PfCO are legally permitted to provide commercial drone services in the UK. As part of their PfCO they will have safety equipment and safety procedures in place and will also undertake risk assessments to ensure that any project can be flown safely and in accordance with the law.

Next, you should check that your DSP has adequate insurance. All reputable DSP’s will provide this information either on their website or by request and will likely provide a copy of their insurance certificate.

Next talk to your DSP and discuss your project. Be prepared to provide some details on what you are looking to achieve, where the services will be needed and when you need the work done by.

Finally, take a look at the recent projects or work on their website. This will give you an idea of the quality of the output they can produce and the type of work they handle with their drone equipment, and will also provide you with confidence they can achieve the results you need.

Where To Use A Drone In Your Business

You can choose to employ DSPs within your business in any number of areas, from providing aerial filming and photography for marketing purposes to providing Inspection Services for buildings and structures such as towers, chimneys and solar panel installations. Depending on your type of organisation you can also use DSP’s for Agriculture, (crop analysis, plant health monitoring, variable rate prescriptions, orthography), Construction projects (ground surveys/mapping and measurements) and even Quarrying/Mining where orthography and photogrammetry are used to create 3D models and calculate volumes, depths and areas.

Improving Your Bottom Line

How can you improve your bottom line? Take a roof inspection as an example. Traditionally if you want a roof inspected you need to arrange and book scaffolding. You need a qualified scaffolding crew to erect the scaffold and sign it off, and then you need your buildings contractor to undertake a manual inspection from the scaffold and photograph suspect areas. The whole process can take days or even weeks to complete and can be expensive. Utilising drone technology you can now achieve better results without the cost of the scaffolding or installation and without the risk to personnel on the scaffold. Furthermore you can be reviewing the data and images captured by drone within hours. Saving time, saving money and mitigating risk.

When considering selecting a DSP for your business, it is always good to ask yourself whether you need drone services or just “want” them. As a new technology, sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with things so be sensible. That being said, use of drones can greatly improve your bottom line by making once difficult, lengthy and expensive jobs quicker and much more affordable.

What do I do now?

The range of applications for Drones is rapidly increasing and you may already be thinking of ways you could use a DSP and Drone technology to improve your operations. To find out more and to discuss how they can be of benefit to your and your organisation call us or visit our website. We’re here to help.

01453 393181

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