FIVE MINUTES WITH: The drone pilot behind nationally-acclaimed Norfolk rescue mission

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Sergeant Danny deployed a UAV last week to search for Peter Pugh, after his family raised the alarm when he did not return home from a walk. Sgt Leach, who was flying a DJI Inspire I, spotted Mr Pugh stuck in a dense reed beds and marshland and was credited with saving his life. Following the rescue, which was a collaboration with Norfolk Fire and Rescue, Commercial Drone Professional spoke to the sergeant about the mission, as well as how drones have already aided the force and how he sees potential for growth. What equipment and software did you use
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FIVE MINUTES WITH: Airbus Aerial president, Jesse Kallman

A year on from its launch, Airbus Aerial has managed to carve out a position as one of the organisations driving market within the commercial drone space. Jesse Kallman, president of Airbus Aerial, a new business unit within Airbus, the global heavyweight in space and aeronautics, stepped into the role last May. Over the course of his career, Kallman has worked across various parts of the industry including research at Georgia Tech, federal policy at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), commercial UAS business at Airware, and advocacy with groups such as the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Kallman told
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FIVE MINUTES WITH: Consortiq’s Miriam Hinthorn on cracking the UAV industry’s glass ceiling

A lack of women working within the UAV industry has been offered as an explanation for the double-digit pay gaps revealed in recent weeks. Ahead of April deadline, by which time any private sector company with more than 250 employees needs to publish data on their gender pay gap, along with details on the proportion of male and female employees and their gender bonus gap, a selection of key players within the drone industry have disclosed pay gaps of approximately 20%. Alongside the disclosure of the mean and median difference in pay, it has also been revealed that men occupy
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OPINION: Has Artificial Intelligence really arrived in the commercial drone world?

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As the technology industry continues to debate the importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it could alter the drone sector, Sky-Futures’ co-founder and COO Chris Blackford offers industry insight about the development in relation to UAV use… There is chatter aplenty on Linkedin and other media sources about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its application in the drone-based inspection and data analysis market. The purpose of this blog is to dispel some of the myths and shine a bit of light on the realities of AI. I am the co-founder of a drone-based technology company but my background is not
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FIVE MINUTES WITH: James Pick, Coptrz’ business development manager

UK-based commercial drone specialist Coptrz first entered the professional UAV sector just under two years ago and has successfully carved out a place as one of Britain’s top drone firms. The company, which covers a raft of drone-based solutions, including software, training and support apps, is constantly on the lookout for new applications for UAVs. Coptrz’ business development manager, James Pick, tells Commercial Drone Professional about the company’s strategic plans for growth and how the UAV landscape has shifted in the last 18 months. What was it 18 months ago that bought Coptrz to the industry? The two owners, Steve
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Clamp down on ‘unqualified, unsafe and uninsured’ pilots will see industry blossom, says UAV pilot

Ian Titchener, Ely Aviation
With little time to go until the UK government is set to impose stricter regulations on UAV flying, drone operators have been predicting how the changing regulations will impact the sector. One pilot that has weighed in on the debate is Ian Titchener, founder of Ely Aviation. Titchener has predicted that with more stringent restriction, the industry will see a decrease in the amount of unqualified, unsafe and uninsured pilots cashing in on commissioned work. While Titchener acknowledges that not all unqualified pilots are knowingly offending, with many casually stating ‘a friend who will do it for a beer’ and
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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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Education remains a prominent challenge for UAV sector, claims Sky-Futures

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Education remains one of the challenges to contend with while trying to grow a business within the commercial UAV market. For Chris Blackford, co-founder of Sky-Futures, a UK-based drone company which specialises in complex vertical inspections and data analysis software, one of the goals has been to work with enterprise organisations to ensure they are appraised of the full spectrum of opportunities that drones and software can bring to their industry. Blackford told Commercial Drone Professional: “An important task for us has always been, and remains, the education of clients on the many benefits of the technology. Demonstrating the value
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EXCLUSIVE: Mismanaged expectations threaten credibility of UAV operators

Commercial UAV operators that over-promise service and under-deliver on quality could damage the market by causing customers to turn their backs on the capability. Paul Rigby, CEO of Consortiq, believes that companies without a specialism that provide a broad spectrum of service, often fail to live up to their clients’ expectations. “Mismanaged expectations have been an issue so far in the industry,” Rigby told Commercial Drone Professional. “There has been a lot of expectations from paying customers that haven't been met because they paid for a roof survey or they paid for some mapping or they paid for some photography
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