Create a Drone Program
Is your organization interested in doing any of the following?
- Reducing risk
- Lowering costs
- Improving operational efficiency and productivity
- Increasing revenue
If so, have you considered starting a new or building on an existing drone program? If your organization is in any of the following industries, you could realize short-term benefits from doing so:
- Public safety
- Media and Entertainment
- Real estate
- Many others…
Misconceptions About Drones
When the topic of drones comes up, many people initially think about controversial military drones or concerns about invasion of privacy. Others believe using them is dangerous and a safety risk. Even some of the people that understand the benefits drones can provide don’t think the regulations and technology are mature enough at this time to justify using them within their organization.
The reality is quite different, however. The small drones being used today are nothing like the military drones we see and read about. Privacy is no more threatened by drones than it is by other existing technologies. Even though flying beyond visual line-of-sight is not permitted on a widespread basis yet by the FAA, the existing regulations allow organizations to do many useful things with drones. And with the technology continuing to improve at a very rapid pace, today’s flight systems are very advanced and capable of carrying out a wide range of productive tasks.
While employing dedicated drone professionals is an option, it’s not a requirement. With proper training, an organization can add drone-related skills to the toolbelt of any existing employee to help them do their existing job better and more efficiently.
Drones are very powerful data collection tools that can supplement existing resources. Many organizations are achieving a measurable, positive ROI with a properly implemented drone program that integrates the technology into their daily workflow. In most cases, the positive return is being achieved more quickly than expected. In fact, a report from Skyward (a Verizon company) indicates that 88% of drone users had a positive ROI in one year or less. We’re not aware of any organization that started a drone program that ended up not finding it to be valuable and regretted their decision.
It’s worth noting that you often don’t hear about successful commercial drone programs. Many companies that have a drone program don’t want to publicize it because they don’t want their competitors to know about it. Instead, they would rather keep the successes to themselves and enjoy the competitive advantage drones give them in bidding for jobs.
Implementing a Drone Program
In 2020, organizations are scattered throughout the various stages of drone deployment. Some haven’t started a program yet, primarily due to the misconceptions listed previously. Others are doing limited testing using contract pilots or have employees dabbling with drones without a formal program. Some of the more advanced have outlined a program and are beginning to realize the benefits of the technology while evaluating use cases and flight systems. Even fewer organizations are carrying out pilot projects by deploying autonomous systems for data collection and analyzing and reporting on the data using sophisticated apps. A very small number have rolled out an organization-wide, fully-implemented drone program.
Implementing an effective drone program may seem like a daunting task to the uninformed. There are several things to consider when doing so, including but not limited to the following:
- ROI opportunities
- Program objectives and use cases
- FAA regulations
- Pilot certification
- Outsourcing vs. building internal teams
Policies and procedures
- Flight system selection
- Basic flight training
- Advanced flight training including autonomous flight
- Data collection and analysis
Organizations have two primary strategies for deploying a program. They can figure it out on their own through trial and error, a process that may end up being costlier and take longer than necessary. Or they can choose an experienced partner that has the subject matter expertise and can provide consulting, training, and guidance throughout the entire process.
SkyOp Can Help
Since 2013, SkyOp has been consulting with and training individuals and organizations in the use of drones. With its knowledge of and experience with drone use related to power distribution, construction, surveying, agriculture, inspection, scientific research, healthcare, and public safety, SkyOp can help organizations of any kind realize a rapid ROI.
SkyOp consulting and training services can help your organization:
Conduct a free assessment of your need for a drone program
Gain executive-level buy-in for your program
Develop or expand your program objectives and use cases relevant to your operations
- Select a team utilizing the right mix of employees and contract resources
- Create policies and procedures for your program:
General operating manual
Consistent procedures, training, and certification for both employees and contractors
Customized online drone program procedures and training manual that both employees and contractors can access and use
- Select and acquire flight systems, tools, and insurance
- Train and certify your internal trainers and/or your pilots both with the FAA as well as with basic and advanced hands-on flight skills
- Train your internal trainers and/or your data analysts using the optimal solutions for your needs
What’s different about the SkyOp approach? We are not just a consultant or a trainer. We are a partner that can bring a wealth of drone knowledge and experience, along with policy recommendations and a vast library of training courseware. We will work with you to create customized drone program policies and procedures as well as a matching training plan that meets your organization’s specific needs and objectives. With our assistance, you can roll out a drone program in the shortest possible timeframe. No matter where you currently are with the adoption of drone technology – whether you’re just starting out or looking to add more advanced capabilities – we can help.
It’s Time To Get Started
The commercial drone industry had been going through what analysts call a “trough of disillusionment.” Much had been promised, and regulatory and technological hurdles, along with public perception, held it back. Now, a number of breakthroughs are finally reaching the market and more are on the way. Because of that, drone operations are increasing in scale, with programs growing rapidly from 1 or 2 drones to dozens or hundreds of drones.
The technology is being optimized for specific applications - it’s no longer one-size-fits-all. The number of different drones on the market is increasing, along with the autonomous applications and tools. New advances in technology and artificial intelligence will continue to drive growth, further reducing the amount of time it takes to turn data into decisions. Beyond visual line-of-sight operations and extended flight times are just two of the advances that will open up new frontiers in the near future.
Now is the time to start or grow your organization’s drone program. Contact us today to discuss how we can put you on the right path to deploying an effective drone program. Find out why many companies, public safety organizations, colleges, high schools, large state agencies, and Fortune 500 companies like Amazon have selected SkyOp.