Unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS,” or more commonly, “drones”) are becoming increasingly popular in various sectors ranging from agriculture, inspections, surveying and video capturing to deliveries and even insurance. Drone application, frankly, exploded with penetration of smartphones and accessibility of technology to public.
With recent regulation updates (reference to my post What Drones Can Do), operators are required to obtain licenses or permits. In the US, for example, commercial drone operation is a subject to Section 333.
According to public information, FAA granted over 4’200 licenses for drone operation in the US alone. What’s really interesting – is a range of application the licenses have been applied for. While most of the professional operators were focused in Photography and video, majority related to real estate (Thompson Coburn, August 2015), more recent applications reveal quite creative ways of drone operation.
Most interesting (personal opinion) applications of drones granted by FAA:
- Search and rescue, disaster mitigation;
- Aerial photography and videography for real estate, solar systems, and construction;
- Aerial videography and cinematography for safety inspections, and surveying;
- Mapping and damage assessment of crops for insurance purposes;
- Construction inspection; insurance appraisal; real estate; nature, event, and legal photography and videography; marketing; law enforcement search and rescue photography; and closed set production;
- Aerial evaluation and inspection of utility infrastructure, railroads, pipelines, oil-fields;