‘Poor regulation’ within the UAV industry has been cited as one of the biggest challenges facing the market by a commercial drone operator.
Simon Stickland, drone pilot and owner at commercial UAV operations, Dragons Eye Filming, gave Commercial Drone Professional an insight into some of the issues the UAV industry contends with, as well as the company’s plans to grow.
In your mind, what issue poses the biggest threat to the future of the commercial drone sector and what can be done about it?
Poor regulation and lack of education and enforcement over the hobby and commercial drone sectors are the biggest threats. Promoting the positive use of drones to the public and authorities whilst ensuring that suitable regulations are clear and enforced would vastly improve the commercial drone sector.
What do you do within your business to stand out from competitors?
At Dragons Eye Filming we pride ourselves in being friendly professionals in all that we do. From positive assistance to over 5,500 UK drone operators through a group I part admin, as well as the Conservation with Drones’ Facebook group that I set up and being members of ARPAS-UK and Drone Safe Register. We also show our background in H&S along with specialist training and experience exceeding clients’ requirements, this allows us to work in areas that others may not be competent in.
What are your plans for growing the business?
Without giving too much away we are in advanced discussions with several specialist drone type companies and organisations to help further the positive use of drones locally and globally.
What changes would you like to see within the industry?
Better education of the public and all drone users, including hobby and commercial, about the regulations and risks along with the media and industry insisting on using only compliant operators with legally collected data. As mentioned earlier, this plus improved enforcement of the regulations through appropriate funding.
As previously reported, the Government is looking to amend regulations, something you commented was going to be tough to enforce. What do you think should be done to ensure safe practice within the industry?
Vastly improved funding and education to those tasked with enforcing the regulations to allow more prosecutions of those in clear serious breach, for hobby and commercial operators. The official listing of those with an OSC and their specifics would also help other operators and businesses differentiate with a positive outcome.
What are your thoughts on the belief that ‘drones should be left for the professionals’?
This is a very short minded belief as in reality without the millions of hobby drone pilots the companies building drones would not have the income for serious R&D coupled with the hobby pilots skill sets and inventiveness that benefits all drone users.