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What’s Ahead for the Drone Industry and Drone Operator Insights Series

Over the last 10 years, the drone industry has evolved from a lofty dream into an industry with an established landscape of technology, regulations, and use cases. It’s come a long way from the days when I served in the Marines, and I couldn’t be prouder of the progress we’ve made as an industry and as a company.

This May, DroneBase and our professional drone operator network joined the Alliance for Drone Innovation (ADI), a Washington, DC-based coalition and leading policy voice of manufacturers, operators, suppliers and software developers of drone technology.

Along with this new partnership, I am excited to be taking on a bigger role as President of ADI’s Drone Operators Federation to ensure that drone pilots have a more prominent voice in discussions about federal drone policy and regulations. The 100,000+ commercial drone operators in the U.S. are on the front lines of driving innovation, safety, and commercial adoption in our industry. In my tenure as DOF president, I will be focused on advocating for the concerns of drone operators and raising awareness of this sector’s outsize contributions to the commercial use of drones.

With 2020 presenting new challenges almost daily to all of us, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on what’s ahead for DroneBase and ADI, as well as the state of the industry, this year and beyond.

Launching the Drone Operator Insights Series

First, I am pleased to share the launch of ADI and DOF’s Drone Operator Insight Series today. We are excited that this campaign will highlight the incredible and innovative work of drone operators in different regions of the U.S. and the incredible ways drone technology is transforming the work of companies across sectors. This series will also provide an opportunity for us to showcase their diverse backgrounds and experience, and their enthusiasm for the drone industry.

Every drone operator offers a unique perspective on the U.S. commercial drone industry and their work is driving advancements in drone technology and policy. Drone pilots in the DroneBase network have unparalleled experience working in industries such as energy, construction, insurance, and real estate.

RemoteID and Drone Policy

Driving our policy agenda is the FAA’s implementation of Remote ID. I feel that in order for drone policy to be effective and enable the tens of thousands of drone operators in the U.S, the FAA needs to replicate their simple, clear, rules-based approach that was effective in Part 107 and LAANC in the rollout of Remote ID. 

As the leading voice for drone operators, we will be engaging on this issue to ensure that the FAA balances the desires of large corporations with the needs of individual operators and small business owners. 

Commercial Drone Industry

The drone industry has had a revolutionary impact on businesses across sectors from insurance, construction, and real estate to energy, agriculture, public safety, media, entertainment and more. From enabling insurers to get claims processed faster than ever before, enabling payouts to those in need faster to providing contractors a better, safer way to monitor their sites, drones have transformed business as usual. I believe this is just the beginning with more companies and industries learning how to incorporate drones into their operations every day.

To support the growing demand for commercial drone use, at DroneBase, we’ve invested in software development, global drone operations, and hiring in-house subject matter experts to develop several solutions for our customers, ranging from roof condition and measurements reports to asset management tools in our application, DroneBase Insights for Wind and Solar.

DroneBase, as well as others in the commercial drone industry, is positioned to become the main asset and inspection manager for buildings and other physical infrastructure. As drone technology expands and becomes more sophisticated, our ability to collect data will be key to getting customers information that will lead to actionable, timely solutions.

With consistent improvements and rapidly expanding use cases for drone technology, I look forward to working on behalf of the DOF and in partnership with our pilots and partners to drive policy solutions that will propel the drone industry forward to a bright future.

Tags: Drone Industry Drone Pilots Drone Regulations Drone Uses
Dan Burton
Dan Burton

Dan Burton is the CEO and Founder of Zeitview. He initially became a drone enthusiast during his service as a Marine Infantry Officer in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2007 - 2011. While in the Marines, the drone industry was just getting started and he watched it grow from the likes of the first desktop computers to iPhones. Before founding Zeitview, Dan analyzed industries for global corporations on Goldman Sachs’ Technology, Media & Telecom Group. He started his career as a Special Projects Assistant in the U.S. Senate. Dan has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from New York University.


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