When looking for a drone service provider it may seem easier just to go to Craiglist and hire the college kid who is trying to make a couple bucks on the side, but is he or she licensed? “But I just need a couple quick shots, I don’t care if they are licensed” you might say. While this may be the case, there are many reasons you shouldn’t hire just anyone with a drone (or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as they are more formally referred to) to get you those shots you need to sell your real estate listing, capture your event from above, or inspect your crops.
For the longest time, it was a very gray area, hiring a drone operator, the rules were not clearly defined, but all that has changed since August 29, 2016, when the FAA released the new Part 107 regulations that surround the commercial use of drones in United States airspace. Up, Beyond Media postponed selling our drone services for years, we started the business in 2013 but only just started booking jobs because of this gray area. Now that these new rules are out, there are more and more legal drone operators popping up around the country. If you’re going to hire a drone pilot, these are some of the reasons you’ll want to make sure they are a licensed drone pilot and not just some kid who picked up a new DJI Mavic Pro, or GoPro Karma.
A Qualified Drone Service Provider will…
1. Follow the law and have a license
One of the most important reasons to hire a licensed pilot that we’ve lightly touched on is staying legal. When you hire a drone pilot, they have a huge responsibility to deliver a service that is responsible and safe for the public. Licensed drone service providers have spent countless hours learning about the rules and regulations established by the FAA. A Part 107 Licensed Drone Pilot will know where they can legally fly, how high they can fly, what weather is safe to fly in, how to retrieve permission to fly in different classes of airspace, and how to properly plan and execute the mission.
2. Carry at least $1M in Liability Insurance
Because these licensed drone pilots are operating commercially, they want to protect not only themselves and their business, but also anyone else who might be around the operation. While it is not currently required by law for drone pilots to have insurance, it is very likely a responsible drone pilot will. When seeking out a drone service provider, we recommend you always check with the pilot what kind of insurance they are carrying. Here at Up, Beyond Media, we insure every flight we take with a $1-million liability policy.
3. Have your safety and the safety of others in mind
One of the highest priorities of a licensed drone operator is safety, after all, their reputation as a drone service provider and a business is always at stake. Licensed drone pilots have spent hours learning the FAA rules and regulations to make their business legal and in the process have learned about the many effects that weather, temperature, and other factors can play into their flights. Anytime Up, Beyond Media goes out to fly we make a point to take into account all the factors that may be present, obstructions, wind speed, etc. When selecting a drone service provider you want to make sure they are taking your safety and the safety of everyone around the operation into consideration. It’s one thing to put a drone up in the air, it’s another to do it safely.
4. Deliver a quality product and service
Even if you hire a licensed drone pilot, the quality of work is going to vary for many reasons. While there is no guarantee, it’s fairly safe to assume that you’ll receive a better quality of service from a licensed pilot than you will from an unlicensed pilot, because once again, their reputation as a business is always on the line. Delivering high-quality content and high-quality services are at the core of Up, Beyond Media’s philosophy, we believe no matter how big or small the project, it is imperative to always put our best foot forward. When choosing a licensed drone pilot, make sure you find one who can deliver the quality you want and need for your project.
When you hire a professional, you expect them to handle themselves professionally. Professionals, in any industry, have an established processes. Here at Up, Beyond Media, for example, we follow a set of standard operating procedures for each and every project we tackle, it starts with analyzing the scope of the project, determining the class of airspace the project will take place in, whether or not any waivers are required from the FAA, planning the flight missions, etc. Once all the preliminary planning is done, then the fun begins. Just like flying a manned aircraft, flying an unmanned aircraft requires many checklists. Any professional drone pilot will adhere to a strict list of procedures to ensure they get the job done.
These are just a few things to consider when seeking out a drone service provider for whatever your needs may be. Obviously we’d love for you to hire us, but more importantly, we want you to hire a drone service provider who plays by the rules, and has everyone’s best interests in mind. This is an emerging industry and the last thing we want is for the FAA to create stricter regulations that limit our ability to provide our service to you.
We’d love to work with you on your project, so if you’re ready to discuss how Up, Beyond Media could help, drop us a line and get ready to go up, beyond!