If you’re hoping to have a pizza delivered by drone to your house soon, you might have a wait. One industry expert sees a different future inspecting remote pipelines and such for drones. Brandon Declet knows what he’s talking about.
Talking Drone Rules and Regulations
Declet is the CEO and Co-Founder at Measure, one of the first companies to offer drones-as-a-service. The firm was invited to Washington recently for an American Leadership in Technology Event at The White House. Declet spoke with Small Business Tends recently about where the industry is going and how regulations need to change.
Drone Service Operator
First Declet spoke about his company’s experience at the White House.
“We met with senior administration officials including the Deputy Secretary of Transportation, as well as officials from the FAA and officials from The Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House,” Declet said. One focus was finding ways to allow for more commercial drone operations in America.
Current Friendly Administration
Measure operates in DC and has fifty employees. The company finds the current administration friendly to companies operating drones in American commercial airspace. Measure hopes one operating regulation specifically might be tweaked.
“To scale our operation into a big business, we’re looking at opportunities to fly beyond the visual line of sight,” Declet says. “This would open up new possibilities like inspecting transmission towers and pipelines.”
The Visual Line of Sight
This regulation prohibiting operating a drone beyond the visual line of sight of the operator certainly creates a limit to uses of the technology. The visual line of sight is the distance the operator can physically see without using any monitors.
There would be several jobs drones would be able to take over with the right regulatory changes. These jobs include inspecting remote wind turbines, checking on cell towers so workers don’t need to climb them, or even providing real time news coverage. Declet understands some bugs would need to be worked out first, however.
Key to Adjustments
“The big fear is that if you’re flying beyond visual line of sight, you can’t see your own aircraft or others that can be in the way,” he says. Any adjustments would include protections for both manned and unmanned aircraft.
Still waiting for drones to start delivering your groceries and box store purchases soon? Declet says that might not be the norm for five to ten years, if then. His company has done some of these deliveries, and found the costs high.
“Deliveries in urban environments might prove difficult,” he says. “To be honest, what drones are going to be really good for are the dull, dirty and dangerous jobs.”
Drone Service Photo via Shutterstock