The BBC reported yesterday that, despite tight regulations, the US Federal Aviation Authority has approved ten commercial projects utilising drones. Interestingly the FAA did not approve the much talked about Amazon aerial delivery service but they have agreed to trial various drone services including:
- controlling mosquito populations
- flying drones beyond a pilot’s sightline
- food delivery
- delivering medical supplies
Similar to the UK, The FAA requires pilots and drones to be licensed and pilots must obtain a permit to fly. Naturally there are public concerns when any new aerial technology arrives, and these trials will explore any potential safety issues. According to the report “The UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Integration Pilot Program is designed to tackle some of the challenges of integrating drones into national airspace, particularly how to reduce risks to public safety”.
The trials are said to last around two years, and are a huge step for UAV technologies. The FAA approvals indicate a high level of recognition for the potential of integrating drone operations into daily life. If the projects prove successful, we will likely see many more drone services worldwide and a much broader range of applications. In the UK, many UAV services already recognise the speed and versatility of drones and will be watching developments closely.
Technical services such as land surveys and data collection for mining and quarrying of aggregates are already becoming the norm, saving time and cost for many UK companies. This is all in addition to the photography and video capabilities that the most engaging property and holiday agencies are already employing to add dynamism to their marketing campaigns.
Other notable trials have included UAV adaptations to perform targeted crop spraying, coastguard operations, de-icing tall structures, fire fighting, and mobile signal provision. There seems to be no area of industry that cannot benefit in some way from UAV services. UK pilots are having to keeping up with skills and regulations, too. VFR Studios pilots are Advanced Trained and fully licensed for commercial operations, flying up to 400 feet. For more information about how drones could help your business, please contact us for an informal discussion.