How to Run a Professional Drone Operation

Follow Skyward on Twitter at @SkywardIO

01/26/2016

If your business is pioneering commercial drone applications in the U.S., there’s a good chance that you’ve already requested and been granted a 333 exemption from the FAA. This is the first step to flying commercial drones legally in the U.S.

It’s essential—but it’s also the bare minimum.

A 333 Exemption Is No Guarantee of a Professional Drone Operation

Being allowed to fly drones isn’t the same as operating professionally or efficiently. Having a 333 exemption won’t ensure that your customers come back or that your business succeeds.

We know this because we help businesses—from startups to major corporations—manage their drone operations. So we have a front-row seat to what works and what doesn’t.

We want to help businesses get their drone operations right and avoid critical mistakes, so we’re devoting our February best practices webinar to just that. On Tuesday, February 16 the Skyward Professional Services team will join Tom Hallman, formerly with Pictorvision; David Day of Keystone Aerial Surveys; and Jon Ollwerther of Aerobo.

We’ll cover must-know tips for running and managing a professional drone operation, including the first-hand experiences of our expert panelists. Tom pioneered the use of drones for film production, and Pictorvision was one of the first six companies granted a 333 exemption by the FAA. David is executive vice president at Keystone Aerial Surveys, which has one of the largest private fleets of aircraft in the U.S. and conducts major surveying projects. Jon is CMO of Aerobo, which designs, builds, and operates drones for marquee clients in numerous industries.

Register for Skyward's February webinar on commercial drone operations

Here’s a sneak peek:

Expect to Succeed & Plan Your Drone Operations Accordingly

Expecting success doesn’t mean investing in a new fleet or fancy office furniture just yet. It means that you anticipate a thriving business and put the right systems in place at the outset. After all, if you were to open a hardware store, you could use a pencil and a notepad to track every last rivet, bolt, and hammer—but you probably wouldn’t.

It’s time-consuming, the potential for error is high, and you have better things to do.

Tracking your batteries, drone maintenance schedule, and pilots may not seem like a big deal when you have one drone, five batteries, one pilot, and just a few customers. You can probably track everything in a spreadsheet, or even with paper. But if your business grows even a little that “system” quickly turns into a logistical nightmare.

Just one more drone or pilot and a few dozen customers can create a time-consuming workflow with lots of opportunity for error. Smart business leaders know better than to waste their time on inefficient systems.

Instead, invest in a good system early on. If you’re flying drones commercially, we recommend investing in a system that can keep track of unlimited drones, batteries, and pilots; provide proof of training and flight hours; plan and log flights; and fly safely with a validated airspace map.

You’ll be able to meet increased demand without a blip and you won’t spend nights and weekends reconciling disparate systems and re-entering data into spreadsheets.

Register for the webinar here.

Start Your Free Skyward Trial