The impending increase in commercial drone operators means an increased demand for commercial-quality drones – something that drone manufacturers have already realized. And some UAS companies are even helping aspiring entrepreneurs through the Part 107 process.
3D Robotics (3DR) strongly urges more individuals to engage in the commercial drone industry and has provided a collection of testing resources
on its site in order to simplify the process.
“Just as Wi-Fi accelerated productivity inside the office, so too will commercial drones dramatically improve the productivity and safety of construction sites, mining and surveying,” 3DR CEO Chris Anderson said in a statement.
took things a step further and is offering a full rebate of the $150 testing fee to those who have purchased Autel drones — but you do have to pass the test.
“We want to make professional drone use easy and accessible to wide variety of business users,” Autel Robotics USA CEO Steve McIrvin said in a press release. “I firmly believe that we’re entering a golden age of safe, legal, professional drone flying.”
The passage of Part 107 is not the end for drone integration in the U.S., according to Huerta.
“Integration is never going to be a finite process — [Part 107] is not an end in itself, but an important step forward,” he said.
The FAA is already taking steps to advance past the general permissions that Part 107 provides. New regulations have been in effect for less than 24 hours, and the FAA has already issued 76 waivers for operations not covered under Part 107. Of those waivers, 72 were granted for nighttime flights, but future exemptions could cover operations such as flights over people, beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS), or above 400 feet.
Included in these waivers was the first-ever Part 107 exemption allowing BVLOS flights
, a major milestone for the industry. The waiver was granted to PrecisionHawk, a drone company specializing in UAS, software, and data analytics for agricultural applications. After working collaboratively with the FAA through its Pathfinder Program for over a year, PrecisionHawk can now perform BVLOS flights — and has been approved to train other companies who would like to offer extended visual line-of-sight commercial operations.
During the FAA press conference, Huerta also implied that other Pathfinder companies such as CNN
and BNSF Railway had also received waivers for their operations not covered under part 107 — flights over people and BVLOS operations, respectively.
This expediency in opening up the regulatory framework will continue to encourage new commercial drone use — Huerta estimated that “as many as 600,000 drone aircraft could be used commercially in the first year after Part 107 takes place.”
Just how much of an effect will this have? According to an FAA press release, “The rule could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.”
Exactly what the golden age of drones will look like will be determined in the coming months as industries begin to adopt the new technological advantages that drones provide. For now, learn more about what Part 107 will change