DRONELIFE has been writing about commercial drones since 2014, and we’ve maintained JobForDrones, a professional pilot network, for almost as long. We’ve seen the painful process of Section 333 Exemptions shift to Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificates, and we’ve seen the number of licensed commercial pilots grow exponentially.
In the 3 years since Part 107 was implemented (the FAA issued a press release announcing the new rules on August 29, 2016) the emails and questions we’ve received have changed dramatically: from “How do I get a job and make a living as a drone pilot?” to “Where can I find more licensed drone pilots to hire?”
Major industries like oil and gas have moved beyond the testing stage with drone technology. Now, large enterprise is working to scale operations and grow drone programs throughout the organization. They need skilled pilots, capable of getting high quality and consistent aerial data, to do it. While many drone pilots were hired on short-term contracts previously, now larger drone service providers are negotiating contracts with major enterprise customers and building teams of full-time operators, with benefits, to serve them.
SkySkopes Inc., based out of Grand Forks, North Dakota with additional offices in Minot North Dakota, California, Minnesota, and Texas, is a case in point. Focused on the energy sector, SkySkopes “flies a wide variety of unmanned aircraft for transmission/distribution line inspections, engineering, oil and gas applications, and other innovative use cases that focus on adding value to the energy sector.” SkySkopes issued a press release to JobForDrones recently to highlight their need for full time Remote Pilots in Command (RPIC).
Matt Dunlevy, President and CEO of SkySkopes, says that the shift marks significant progress for the industry. “It is fantastic to see that the industrial uses of drones are being proven out,” says Dunlevy. “To me, it shows that even in a regulatory environment with serious, albeit well-founded, restrictions, end users are getting over their reservations in a way where Drone Service Providers can thrive and scale.”
“The energy sector in particular is a space where UAS vendors now have viable business models, and first responders using the same types of commercial UAS have increased public acceptance of drones to an all-time high. These developments are important also to build upon as the many different technologies that go into the operation of drones are advanced.”
Dunlevy says that SkySkopes has grown organically as the technology and legal framework for commercial drones has matured. Now, says Dunlevy: “I’m thrilled that SkySkopes, with OGI, EO, and LiDAR sensors along with unique power line-stringing capabilities, is having a guiding hand in shaping an industry that looks less and less like the Wild West every day.”
For the full article on JobForDrones click here.
Note – If you liked this post click here to stay informed of all of the 3D laser scanning, geomatics, UAS, autonomous vehicle, Lidar News and more. If you have an informative 3D video that you would like us to promote, please forward to email@example.com and if you would like to join the Younger Geospatial Professional movement click here.