Updated: Jan 29
Drones have become increasingly popular In recent years and many people use them both recreationally and commercially. There is a great opportunity for drones to be used in many different commercial markets. However, it’s vital that when businesses are looking for drone services, they hire a professional, licensed pilot. Anyone flying a drone for commercial purposes must be licensed by the FAA. Licensed pilots must also focus on aerial coordination which doesn’t always happen. This article explains all the benefits of why you should be hiring licensed pilots for commercial purposes and the importance of complying with aerial coordination.
1. Knowledge and Skill
To get a drone license, pilots are required to pass the Part 107 knowledge test. This is a challenging test that covers a wide range of topics. As you look to hire a professional pilot, this knowledge will go a long way resolving any issues that may arise, and you can work together with the drone pilot to be aware of legal and operational restrictions.
Along with this test, pilots will have knowledge of drone laws. Federal and state regulations are constantly changing, so it’s important that pilots stay up to date on any changes to the rules. While drones have been on the market for quite a few years now, they are still fairly new and government officials are still learning the best way to regulate them.
Aerography, an aerial company local to the San Franciso Bay Area concurs: “Only operators that work frequently with commercial, regional and local authorities really ‘keep u’” on all the changing information required for successful commercial project execution”.
This website has guides for purchasing a beginner drone and becoming licensed.
2. Quality Production & Products
While there’s no guarantee, it can be safe to assume that you’ll be receiving a better quality of service from a licensed pilot that an unlicensed pilot. Having extensive experience at aerial coordination, shot choreography and knowledge of the shooting area makes all the difference when assuring your production. This information, along with a drone team’s excellent camera & aerial equipment recommendations, add quality & polish to any project.
Dronethusiast has a great list of drones with the best cameras.
“High-end commercial productions require in-depth experienced aerial coordination.” Drone professionals at Aerography say, “We employ aerial coordinators who liaison with government offices, the FAA & local film commissions to fly in some of the most complicated air spaces in the country including airport property, the Bay and congested downtown areas.”
When researching a drone pilot, be sure they are competent in scouting the local area where you are shooting, are experienced in aerial coordination and know both the timeline and parameters of your project when estimating. You will want someone who can deliver the quality you need both in production and in the products they use.
3. Increased Safety
Safety is a top priority of any licensed drone operator, just like it probably is for you and your business. As mentioned, drone professionals spend hours learning the FAA rules and regulations to make their business compliant and safe. During this process, they learn about the many effects that weather, temperature and other factors can play into their flights. Flying with a professional drone team is much different than a child flying a kid-friendly drone – it’s important that a pilot is knowledgeable and experienced with all safety regulations.
Along with this, since licensed pilots are operating commercially, they will want to protect themselves, their business, and anyone else who might be around the operation. That’s why all professional drone pilots carry around $1MIL in liability insurance. You should always ask for a Certificate of Insurance for any project. It’s not required for a professional drone pilot to have insurance, but a responsible drone pilot will. This is something to consider when looking for pilots to hire.
“It’s not just about finding someone with the correct license and insurance either,” says Matthew Lavin principal pilot at Aerography, “while your 16-year-old can get a driver’s license and pay for insurance that certainly doesn’t put them in a class with professional NASCAR drivers – experience on set, or particular flight environment, years of navigating safety issues and proper credentials is the recipe for hiring the right drone team.”
With drones becoming more popular by the day, many companies are seeing an opportunity for drones to be used to benefit their business. Drones can be used across many different industries and have a wide range of capabilities. If you’re considering hiring a drone pilot, it’s vital to hire someone who is licensed, insured, has the right products and has deep knowledge of aerial coordination to get the best results for your project.
Lavine, M. (2019, April 20). Retrieved from