• Nicholas Hall

White Paper: Building Flight Departments

Introduction:


Drones have always been on the forefront of innovation. The drone industry has enjoyed a steady rate of job growth in the past few years and new drone technology promises to shape the future of commerce. A report from Fortune Business Insights states that the global commercial drone market, which was valued at 1.59 billion USD in 2019, is projected to reach 8.52 billion USD by 2027.

As the industry has grown and new technologies have developed, a wide range of applications for drones have been created in a variety of industries. The advantages that drones bring are typically based in a few points:

• Drones bring all the advantages of flight that ground vehicles lack and can capture footage from an aerial perspective.

• Drone units are less expensive than traditional aircraft and requires less training to pilot.

• Drone units are lighter and more maneuverable than traditional aircraft and can operate in spaces that would be impossible for a helicopter or plane to fly in.

• Drone units pose less risk to bystanders than traditional aircraft and have fewer legal restrictions.

• Drone units operate as unmanned systems, allowing for operations in areas where humans can’t or shouldn’t be present.

These advantages present opportunities to industries that avoid using traditional aircraft, as drones provide a cheaper and safer alternative for flight.

We’ll cover drone use and opportunities in a variety of fields, methods of building flight departments, and the advantages of having a flight department on hand


Delivery

Drones hold several advantages over traditional methods of delivery. Aerial delivery avoids packed roads and flies in straight line to its destination, and the maneuverability of drones allow them to land in a customer’s backyard.

The California Company FlyZipline has been using drones to deliver medical supplies in Rwanda and Ghana for years, as the drones can overcome the rough terrain and lack of roads more efficiently than other methods while keeping its cargo intact.

The FAA has been offering an increasing number of waivers related to delivery in the past few years, permitting companies to fly drones beyond the pilot’s line of sight to deliver packages. Most notably, drones were used during the pandemic to deliver COVID-19 tests and protective equipment.


Surveying structures

One of the most developed applications of drones is in 3-D modelling: a drone takes a series a pictures of a subject along overlapping flight paths, then software such as Pix4D or DroneDeploy construct a model using the metadata of each image file.


Media

The footage provided by drones present a unique opportunity for a company wishing to create promotional material for itself or its clients, for media companies looking for a new perspective on their subjects.


Search

Search and rescue operations showcase many of the advantages of drones: their aerial perspective give them a view inaccessible to people travelling by foot or by car, but can be more thorough in their search than an airplane.

Some the earliest uses of UAS technology was scouting in conditions deemed too hazardous for humans. In 2009, The Tokyo Electric Power Company used a UAS to document and relay information in Ōkuma following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.


Flight Departments

The main advantage of having a flight department on staff is having regular access to professionals who can perform those necessary operations without the need to reach outside of the company.

Flight department staff do not necessarily need to work full time as pilots; motivated staff within the company can be trained to fly and perform operations outside of their regular duties when necessary.

Having a flight department allows for easier calculation of operation costs, as the company’s staff already covers the labor costs and equipment. The company has access to more information when the planning is done by its own staff, rather than a contractor. The delays that a contractor might face due to missing staff or faulty equipment will be known faster and more clearly, as internal communication within a company is more efficient than contact between two companies.

The company enjoys more control over flight operations when it relies on a flight department rather than a contractor. Company policies surrounding conduct, equipment and goals are easier to fulfill, as its staff are familiar with the rules that they frequently operate under. Directives from the company to customize an operation are easier to fulfill, as the company is in close contact with each individual member of the flight team. The company has full authority over the operation and can make any changes that it deems necessary, all the while enjoying the ability to supervise and evaluate the operation.


Dynamic Drone Solution believes in creating new opportunities for business through unmanned aerial operations and we support that vision by training flight departments that can take their parent companies to new heights.

Our training ensures students get their FAA Part 107 license along with 25 hours of flight time with hands-on experience using a variety of real drone systems. Students are trained in the specialized field they plan to enter and leave the program ready to bring a new perspective to their company.

If you’d like to contact us about the applications of a flight department for your company, contact us at intern@dynamicdronesolution.com.


References:

Fortune Business Insights, 2020, Aug. Commercial Drone Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, Fortune Business Insights, https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/commercial-drone-market-102171

Lewis, 2020, May 12, A tech company engineered drones to deliver vital COVID-19 medical supplies to rural Ghana and Rwanda in minutes, Business Insider, https://www.businessinsider.com/zipline-drone-coronavirus-supplies-africa-rwanda-ghana-2020-5

Lee, 2021, May 3, Kroger will begin drone deliveries in Ohio this week, Ars Technica, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/05/kroger-will-begin-drone-deliveries-in-ohio-this-week/

Ward, 2020, Sept. 22, Walmart Now Piloting Drone Delivery of COVID-19 At-Home Self-Collection Kits, Walmart, https://corporate.walmart.com/newsroom/2020/09/22/walmart-now-piloting-drone-delivery-of-covid-19-at-home-self-collection-kits

Smith, 2011, April 10, Flying drone peers into Japan's damaged reactors, CNN, http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/04/10/japan.nuclear.reactors/index.html


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