In-Depth

EXCLUSIVE: DJI VP calls on drone professionals to have input on regulation and labels UK as “friendly place for drones”

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DJI’s vice president for policy and legal affairs has called on drone pilots in the UK to get involved with local and regional governments on regulation and legislation. In an exclusive interview with CDP at AirWorks, Brendan Schulman stressed how important it was for users to show the good they are doing with drones. Schulman, a prominent drone and aviation lawyer before he began his work at DJI, said: “I think we are doing well but it’s a lot of hard work and effort but of course it is always helpful to have the actual users engaged and talking to
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EXCLUSIVE: UK-based drone training provider introduces new online PfCO course

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Uplift Drones, a UK-based drone training provider, has launched a new PfCO course that can be taken completely online. The Online PfCO is an all-inclusive, CAA approved drone training course that leads to the student's NQE recommendation for the Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO). The course has been created by an expert training team of commercial drone operators and manned pilots. It exceeds the CAA recommended syllabus delivered by an advanced Learning Management System (LMS) that tracks a student's progress through each module and is accessible on multiple devices including tablet, Apple Mac and PC. The e-course material is made of
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Flock gives industry insight on its short term insurance trends

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London-based insurance firm Flock has given industry insight on the trends it sees from its short term insurance offering. The company, which launched in January, provides its short-term plans via a mobile app called Flock Cover. In its eight month of operation, Flock has found that on average, Drone pilots compare around 15 different risk dependent quotes before signing up for a policy. Flock analyses hyperlocal weather data and environmental variables when preparing a quote, alongside static information such as the drone pilot’s profile. It then puts its data through a group of algorithms to calculate a flight risk metric
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Airbus unites with EASA and CAAS to better define drone regulations

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Two European and Singaporean aviation regulators have teamed up with Airbus in a bid to strengthen drone restrictions in built-up areas. The European Aviation Safety Agency has signed a collaboration agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Airbus to establish a "framework for the exchange of information and technical expertise." EASA adds that the partners will be "leveraging Airbus's experience with the ongoing Skyways project." Skyways is a partnership, signed in 2017, between Airbus Helicopters and Singaporean postal service SingPost to trial an unmanned aerial package delivery system in the city state. CAAS director general, Kevin Shum,
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FEATURE: Drones ready to come to the rescue of emergency response sector

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Commercial Drone Professional spoke to a variety of specialists about the expansion of the use case, both in urbanised areas as well as in locations with limited access. As leaders within the commercial drone sector continue to unlock new potential, emergency responder have been quick off the mark to capitalise on the momentum and make life-saving missions. As drones begin to play a more prominent role in emergency response, their benefits become increasingly apparent. Earlier this month it was revealed that four people walked away from near-death experiences on the same day due to the use of public safety drones.
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IN DEPTH: Making smart cities a reality with integrated drone solutions

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While advancements are emerging from the commercial UAV sector thick and fast, the technology is yet to break its way into the mainstream and revolutionise day-to-day life. Despite the fact that a series of road blocks, such as regulations, permissions, costs and public sentiments, have impacted the delivery of drones in cities around the world, leading names from within the industry are looking to change the game and bring drones further into the spotlight. With programmes being introduced around the world to spearhead drone integration, including Nesta’s Flying High Challenge in the UK and the FAA and Department of Transport’s
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OPINION: Don’t quit your day job until you really know what it takes to start a drone business

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While on the surface, the barriers to entry in the commercial drone market might not be as high as some would expect, the reality is that a modest initial investment will only get you so far. Simon Handley is well-versed in the cost and time involved in establishing a drone business, having founded his company, Skylark Aerial Photography, three years ago. Here, he gives his account of what it is like to launch a drone venture from scratch, and the sort infrastructure and investment challenges a start-up can expect to encounter on their journey. If you are thinking about starting
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INDUSTRY INSIGHT: How much does it really cost to start a drone business?

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Where do you draw the line between start-up commercial operators and hobbyists when it comes to a comprehensive breakdown of upfront hardware expense? For Ian Titchener, founder and manager of Ely Aviation, which officially opened its doors for business last month, the boundaries are not as great as some might perceive. As the commercial UAV market grows, he says that it is possible for new entrants and young start-ups to develop a professional service without running out of cash. 1. Barriers to the industry are not as high as you think The drone industry is one that many enthusiasts aspire
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Aeryon Labs bolsters military UAV operations with system launch

Aeryon Labs, a world leading provider of high-performance, small unmanned aircraft systems for public safety and commercial customers, has taken off with its aerial military defence system. The Aeryon Defense USA systems is an approved US defence contractor delivering the next-generation of advanced sUAS to US military forces and government agencies. Aeryon Defense has assembled a team of military UAS experts who are equipped with the resources to deliver innovative solutions to meet the needs of defence and federal users for years to come. “For over a decade, top militaries around the world have relied on Aeryon to provide unmatched
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EXCLUSIVE: Lowest price point USP is not a strategy for success, claims Consortiq

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Professional UAV pilot training entities that are undercutting their competitors are likely to miss out on business as end users favour other qualities, warns Consortiq. Paul Rigby, the company’s CEO, believes that in order to compete in the marketplace, pilot training organisations must offer something unique that other local facilities aren’t offering. He told Commercial Drone Professional that qualified entities, which are all regulated under the same standard set by the CAA, should avoid using low price points as a means of differentiating themselves from competitors. He said: “Some people will claim there's no standard but there is a standard
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