Commercial Drone Use

September 06, 2016

Commercial Drone Use

Drone technology has really evolved and currently it is all over the media. There are more discussions regarding their applications, especially for commercial use. The debates have led to changes in regulations regarding safety and privacy as the number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) is set to increase. A report says in the next four years, there could be as much as seven million unmanned aircraft systems flying around. About 39 percent would be in the business for profits. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are already taking over the aviation industry, and professionals say the growth would become the most dynamic in just a few years, if it continues as current rate. 

The possibilities for various industries have fuelled the agitation for governments to put in place structures and frameworks to allow for an explosion in the use of drones for commercial activities. Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration agreed to one of the biggest yearnings as the body removed the “pilot license” requirement to make money flying machines. Apart from the United States, many Asian countries are more progressive regarding the use of the flying units. They are already being used in many sectors of the industry and the potential is limitless.

Photography and cinematography: This is one of the top areas that have enjoyed the use of flying systems for financial gains. Many action scenes in popular James Bond movie “Skyfall” were shot using aerial drones. Requests for permission to deploy more units are piling up. When the laws regarding aerial activities are made, there would definitely be more adoptions in the photography and cinematography business. The access to otherwise hard-to-reach places and the option of having a wider view would largely fuel this adoption. 

Mining and construction: The industry is ready to adopt the technology beyond the use for mapping and land surveys. There are intelligent prototypes that are used for pre-set progress monitoring and reporting, stockpile management, storm damage assessment, erosion monitoring and control, and a host of other things in the sector. 

Forestry and wildlife conservation: The need for more airborne machines in this sector is stimulated by increased safety of human lives, closer reach to wildlife, and more possibilities in forestry. There are flying robots with the capacity to handle vegetation health analysis, biomass estimation, planting and deforestation. 

Some of the issues that have held back a faster acceptance of the unmanned robots for business-related activities are mentioned below.

Safety: The possibilities of using the drones for precarious purposes exist. With conflicts and tension between countries, there are fears that the privileges would be abused when the UAVs are mass produced. Users might not completely follow the guidelines and might fly the machines in the path of manned aircrafts or over people. 

Privacy: Governments and regulatory bodies are still trying to looking for the best ways to manage the issue of privacy protections as the flying systems can be used nefarious reasons. The drones can use their GPS feature and other advanced features to navigate their ways and do the bidding of the user, hence the caution. 

Legal concerns: Legal concern is another area that has delayed the commercial deployment of drones. Issues regarding permits, monitoring and compliance agencies are being ironed out. 

In sum, there is a lot of potential for the consumer-drone market, but the concerns and fears have to be addressed for everyone to be able to tap into it commercially.   


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