As aerial videography becomes more accessible and popular, people are finding new and different ways to utilize drones for their businesses. While the FAA is working diligently to adapt regulations to this ever-changing market, commercial drone operations are still moving somewhat slowly. In order to keep people safe both on the ground and in the air, the FAA relies on Part 107 pilots to fly within the laws and set an example for hobbyists.
Due to the current workflow of the FAA, many drone operations never get off the ground due to the long waiting period for waivers and airspace authorizations. It is up to business owners and pilots to work together to proceed with their operations and help this industry thrive.
We have put together our top 3 tips when selecting the right drone pilot for your project or operation. Check them out below!
Know your Airspace
The first step in planning your drone operation, whether you are a pilot or looking to hire one, is knowing what airspace the location is within. This can give you an idea of what steps you will need to take to plan your flight. GraVoc operates primarily on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Nearby we have Beverly Regional Airport (Class D airspace), Boston Logan International Airport (Class B airspace), and countless heliports, just to name a few. There are also other types of restricted airspace as well such as schools and national parks. All of this information is important to know.
As a business owner, there are some ways for you to learn about where you are and you can also use your pilot as a resource as well. airmap.com is an easy to read website and app for mapping out drone operations and gives you information in a way that anyone can understand. They are also partnering directly with the FAA to help streamline airspace regulations and the authorization process. You may also use b4ufly.org which is an app run by the FAA to share information about drone regulations and airspace in a simple way. Both of these resources are free to the public. The more information you have, the easier step two will be.
Authorization is always a must when flying in controlled airspace. Depending on the complexity of the request, airspace authorizations can take up to 90 days to process, and part 107.41 waivers can take 90 days at a minimum. Making sure that you have enough time to get your paperwork processed is crucial. Normally the Pilot in Command files for the authorization. However, you do not need to be the pilot to file. The person in charge of the project can file for the authorization, and this can help streamline your process.
The FAA has instructions on how to properly fill out the Part 107 waiver forms. It is best to have as much information as possible before filing. The more information you provide directly on the form, the more likely it is that your request will be approved. A majority of FAA waivers and authorizations are denied because of lack of details or crucial information in the original request. Give yourself a time buffer for the weather. Instead of only requesting one day three months out, block out a week so you have flexibility for rain.
To request a Part 107 Waiver or Authorization follow this link: https://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver/
Choose your Pilot
Drone regulations are complicated and constantly evolving. There are lots of companies using drones, and some have even hired an in-house pilot. When hiring a contractor or a pilot from a company, it is best to make sure that they are insured and have experience with the type of operation your are looking to conduct. Insurance makes sure your property and employees are protected from any potential accidents. Having an experienced pilot helps to mitigate risk. Make sure that when you are hiring a pilot, you know that their equipment is capable of capturing what you need. Not all drones are equipped for the same projects. Again, knowing as much as possible before the operation will ensure success.
This is an exciting time for the drone industry and new advances are being made every day. With this technology, business owners can take their companies to new heights. If you would like more information about drones and using them for your business, check out our related drone articles below.
To inquire about GraVoc’s drone services and other creative offerings, contact our creative technology department: https://www.gravoc.com/creative-technology/
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