The commercial drone industry is rapidly expanding and changing. It is critical for firms in every industry to understand how to pick the right drone company. With less than a decade of prevalence in the economic landscape, there has been little time for drone companies to develop a name for themselves as reputable. It can be very difficult to know if the firm you are engaging with is legitimate, or a sham. Regulations and technology within the industry are changing every day. New drone companies are popping up in everyone’s back yard. This article is meant to equip you with the necessary information and questions you may need in order verify the authenticity of the potential drone service provider to your firm.
Regulations have been changing rapidly since small commercial drone operations began to gain traction several years ago. All signs point toward continued rapid change in the commercial drone space for the foreseeable future. It is of vital importance for your drone service provider to understand and follow these regulations. The following questions can be asked if you want to know if the vendor you are speaking with understands the regulations surrounding commercial drone operations. What are the federal regulations? What are the state regulations? What are the local regulations? What steps does your firm take to ensure all rules are followed? If these answers can not be provided with proficiency, it is likely the vendor you are talking with performs operations outside of the current regulations and you should be wary. A link has been provided below to the FAA website where the federal regulations can be viewed. State and local regulations are also easy to find online.
It may be a simple task to work with one freelance drone operator in one market on one project and get an acceptable outcome, but when you need a consistent, professional product at scale, receiving an acceptable product may be harder to deliver. It is important to ask about the size of the operation, editing capacity, geographical limitations, technological limitations, data processing capacity, account management capacity, ect. If the firm you are reaching out to only operates locally and does not have processes in place for providing solutions at scale, you may want to explore other options. Provided below is a link to a slide deck explaining the Drone Dispatch difference.
When operating professionally it is always very important to carry insurance. It is equally important to make certain any contractor or subcontractor you utilize to carry out functions on your behalf is also adequately insured. Insuring drone companies used to be very difficult, as insurance agencies were slow to adapt to the changing economic landscape. The landscape has changed tremendously over the last few years and finding insurance for a drone company and for its operations and equipment is a relatively easy task – as many firms are now predicating their business model on serving the bubbling commercial drone industry. There is no excuse today for a drone company to be uninsured.
The bottom line is that you have to look out for your own best interest when stepping into the drone space. A great number of firms are operating illegitimately and will work to hide this truth from you. It is your job to research and find the right firms to work with while economic darwinism runs its course and clear leaders are distinguished in the drone space. Best of luck to anyone reading this while preparing to take their operations to new heights with drones.