With the advancement of drone technology and the use cases growing almost every single day, many companies and business owners are turning to drones to make life easier. Although, the question arises whether it is worthwhile to make the investment to complete the job yourself or seek out a professional drone hire company.
The world leading drone manufacturer DJI undoubtedly has created several models of drones used by more drone operator’s and drone hire companies like High Exposure than any other. Although, while the return on investment can be high for uses such as aerial photography for asset inspection and aerial mapping there are many considerations to make.
Drone operators preparing for the job
Frequency of use. Customers who may need drone technology for several different applications find that renting on an “as needed” basis makes more sense than investing in a fleet of multiple aircraft. For example a high spec DJI M600 Pro with triple redundancy used for aerial mapping can easily cost north of $20,000 and that is before a camera and gimbal stabiliser is attached.
Licensing. In Australia 2 seperate licenses approved by CASA, the RePL and ReOC. Obtaining both of these can cost over $5,000 and take up months in training courses, study, phone calls, emails and completing tech libraries and developing manuals. The company needs to weigh up wether this investment of funds and time will be worthwhile in the long run.
Insurance. Depending on what drones and equipment you require for the job being undertaken insurance for hull cover and public liability can cost several thousand dollars and reach into the 10’s of thousands.
Training. The time taken to learn the necessary skills and gain enough experience also needs to be factored into the cost. Experienced drone operators log hundreds of hours in their specific field to provide a professional product for their client. Which also raises the question, would the quality of work be lower if the company was not able to invest in proper training of their designateddrone pilot.
Legislation is also another time consuming factor. Operating drones in restricted areas will need to first send in an application to CASA or other relevent authorities such as councils, military bases etc. The laws are constantly changing and the drone operator needs to keep their finger on the pulse to keep up.
Maintenance is a critical part of managing the fleet of drones in which the company makes use of. There are costs in both money and time to maintain, repair, and keep up to date with hardware technology fixes. A drone that fails can cause.
Hiring a drone pilot for the job on a case by case basis can in many ways be more effective in terms of cost, time and overall level of quality.